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Clan associations get grants from NHB to preserve heritage

Some clan associations get grants from the National Heritage Board to preserve their heritage and promote the use of dialect.

SINGAPORE: Some clan associations get grants from the National Heritage Board to preserve their heritage and promote the use of dialect.

The associations also hold dialect classes for Singaporeans who want to improve their proficiency in dialects.

Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said this in Parliament on Tuesday, in response to a parliamentary question raised by Nominated Member of Parliament Eugene Tan.

Associate Professor Tan had asked about the government's assessment on the state of Chinese dialects and their sustainability in a growing English-speaking environment.

Mr Wong said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth recognises that Chinese dialects are part of the Chinese Singaporean culture and heritage.

He added that the National Library Board's Library@Chinatown has a specially curated collection on Chinese arts and culture.

This includes materials in Chinese dialects such as Chinese opera videos and nursery rhymes, as well as audio recordings, stories and films offered in partnership with Rediffusion.

He said these efforts will help ensure that the use of Chinese dialects as part of the culture and heritage of Chinese Singaporeans remains accessible to future generations

Mr Wong also noted that dialects are still used in places like hawker centres, markets and in getai - or outdoor singing - performances.

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