BiblioAsia Jan-Mar 2020
In this issue, we look back at the glory days of Rediffusion, explore bangsawan venues of old, and find out how Singapore’s Chinese newspaper scene has evolved. We also remember four Singaporean journalists who covered the Vietnam War.
Rediffusion’s Golden Years
Singapore’s only cable radio service was an instant hit when it was launched in 1949. Barbara Quek charts the history of the pioneering broadcasting station.
The Theatres of Bangsawan
In the days before cinema, bangsawan performances entertained the masses. Tan Chui Hua looks at the rise and fall of bangsawan venues in Singapore.
When Women Were Commodities
Brothels in colonial Singapore, with its large male migrant population, did a roaring trade. Adeline Foo examines the lives of the unfortunate girls and women who were sold into prostitution.
Snakes, Tigers and Cannibals: Ida Pfeiffer’s Travels in Southeast Asia
Travelling alone across Southeast Asia in the 19th century, Ida Pfeiffer encountered human heads put out to dry and faced off angry cannibals. John van Wyhe recounts the adventures of this remarkable woman.
The Vietnam War Through Singaporean Eyes
Four journalists from Singapore covered the Vietnam War for the international news media. Only one survived. Shirlene Noordin has the story.
Trial by Firing Squad
In 1915, sepoys in Singapore revolted against their British officers in a bloody rebellion. Umej Bhatia recreates the final moments of the mutineers as they pay the ultimate price for their actions.
From Lat Pau to Zaobao: A History of Chinese Newspapers
Chinese newspapers have been published in Singapore since the 19th century. Lee Meiyu looks at how they have evolved and examines their impact on the Chinese community here.
Early Printing in IndoChina
In the first of two essays on the history of printing in mainland Southeast Asia, Gracie Lee examines the impact of the printing press in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
The Istana Turns 150
The resplendent Istana – where colonial governors and modern-day presidents once lived – celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2019. Wong Sher Maine recounts key moments in its history.
Head Count: The History of Census-taking in Singapore
The very first census here was conducted in 1824. Ang Seow Leng reveals how doing a headcount has evolved over the last 200 years.