Whether it’s escaping the dreaded haze which has been hanging over Singapore for the past couple of months, or escaping the chaos that surrounds Ganpati celebrations in Mumbai……Forty Red Bangles’s new beach-inspired pure cotton nightwear collection has you covered!
Whether your young or older…a trip to the beach and a good dose of Vitamin D, always lifts the spirits. Whether building sandcastles, whale watching or simply taking a stroll on the beach is your thing….you will fall in love with our new prints.
It’s that time of the year in Singapore when there is wave of new expats arriving and other’s are repatriating to new shores. A time to say goodbye to friends and to leave for new adventures. The little red dot holds a very special place in everyone’s heart who has been fortunate enough to experience living here. It is true that life on the Island City is like living in a bubble…but what a lovely space to be in. Life here can be so easy in many ways…the cleanliness, convenience and safety…are all things we probably take for granted until the bubble bursts!
For many of us we search for the little keepsake to take with us to remind us of our time here. For other’s we are looking for the perfect leaving gift to give to our friend which reflects their time spent here.
Here at Forty Red Bangles we have been busy putting together the I Love Singapore collection, which celebrates and encapsulates the icons and symbols that we have all become familiar with. There is something for everybody with our kids pure cotton night suits, women’s night wear, handmade toys and gorgeous bookmarks and keychains. Each collection has been put together with lots of love and attention to detail to ensure that they will be treasured for a long while to come. All our clothing is pure cotton and printed using low impact eco-friendly dyes. Our handmade toys are made by the women of Sambhali Trust, which runs a women’s empowerment centre in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India.
I have been living in Singapore for coming up to 2 years now and decided it was time to dig a little deeper into the history and cultural roots of this little island. Singapore is a melting pot of many different ethnic groups each of which has influenced life as we know it today. I decided to go on an adventure to the Peranakan Museum to learn more and to find inspiration for a new collection.
So now it’s your turn to meet the Peranakans. Installed in the former Tao Nan Chinese School, built in 1912, this intimate museum possesses one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Peranakan objects. Galleries on three floors illustrate the cultural traditions and the distinctive visual arts of the Peranakans. The Peranakan culture is a unique hybrid culture that is still part of Singapore’s living heritage.
The term ‘Peranakan’ is commonly known as ‘local born’ or ‘local descendants’ and is thought to have been used by the local people of the Straits Settlement and Malay Archipelagos to address foreign immigrants whom established families and businesses in the Straits of Southeast Asia.
During the late nineteenth century, Chinese communities who settled in Southeast Asia adopted the term Peranakan to distinguish themselves from the new immigrants, whom they referred to as Sinkeh (new guest) or, in Indonesia, as totok(migrant). More specifically, male descendants were called Babas and female descendants Nyonyas. Most of these descendants, although retaining their Chinese beliefs, also adopted local indigenous lifestyles. Thus, giving birth to the unique practices of the Peranakans and even their own variation of the Malay language called Baba Malay.
While the term Peranakan is most commonly used among the ethnic Chinese for those of Chinese descent also known as Straits Chinese, there are also other, comparatively small Peranakan communities, such as Indian Hindu Peranakans (Chitty), Indian Muslim Peranakans (Jawi Pekan) and Eurasian Peranakans.
The family unit is an important facet of the Peranakans, and family members within the same tree can usually be found living under one roof much like their Chinese counterparts.
Nevertheless, the true feature that defines the Peranakans is their ability to embrace modern thinking. For instance, unlike the traditional Chinese who in the past, favored male offspring, Peranakans deemed both sons and daughters equal rights to the family fortune.
Peranakan food is probably the most diverse and distinctive of all local cuisines. A marriage of cooking styles, Nyonya cuisines combine the preparation techniques of both traditional Chinese and Malay cooking. This unusual marriage gives Nyonya cuisine its distinctive taste, filled with exciting flavours from the use of local herbs and spices, and more often than not spicier and hotter than Chinese food.
A typical Nyonya kitchen would not be without condiments like turmeric, ginger, galangal shallots, chives and shrimp paste. Lemon, limes, tamarinds, green mangoes, citrus leaves and coconut milk are also used to up the epicurean experience. Rempah, an exciting blend of ingredients pounded together in a mortar and cooked in oil to release its flavour is used for a variety of dishes. It’s this special combination that sets Peranakan food apart from the rest. And because of their ingenuity to improvise traditional dishes with spices and herbs, Peranakans have produced tasty local treats like achar, curry fish in banana leaves, buah keluak, chendol, Nyonya kuehs and many other delights.
The Peranakan culture shares great nostalgia and significance to our local communities in Singapore, and is an attraction for many of our foreign visitors who wish to discover and experience the unique Southeast Asian culture.
With this vibrant mix, a unique cultural group has been formed. Arts and crafts have been passed down through the generations. Delicately embroidered glass beaded slippers, elaborate patterns in pastel shades and decorative tiles are some of the treasures of this rich culture.
We have fallen in love with the geometric prints and vibrant colours which are reminiscent of Moghul designs in many ways. Our new women’s pyjama collection will feature a Peranakan influence and will exude the richness and beauty of this amazing community. Launching at the end of April, here is a little sneak peak.
One of the really nice things about living in Singapore, is the exposure to so many different festivals celebrated around the world. The next big one for this year is Lunar Chinese New Year (CNY), celebrating the year of the Goat. Here’s a little more about CNY, which falls on 19 February this year.
It marks the start of the new year for the Chinese calendar, beginning of the second new moon after the winer solstice and ending on the full moon fifteen days later. It is marked by visits to family and friends, special meals, fireworks, and gift giving. Before the celebration, people will normally completely clean the house and display traditional New Year decorations, very similar to Diwali.
Red is undoubtedly the colour of the season. You’ll see it in the scarlet paper packets filled with money that are given to children and younger relatives. You’ll see it in the bright hues of the brand new clothes people are wearing. Most of all, you’ll see it in homes all over Singapore, thoroughly spring-cleaned and decorated with touches of crimson everywhere – in the lanterns hung by the gates, in the spring couplets adorning doorways and in the bright ribbons adorning kumquat plants, their yellow fruit symbolising ‘gold’ or prosperity.
The heart of Chinese New Year is ultimately a celebration of home and family, hence gatherings with family and relatives around the dining table are de rigueur.
And nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the tradition of Reunion Dinner, held on the eve of the new year. Family members rush back home (sometimes from very far away) in order to share this one most important meal of the year with loved ones.
Chinese New Year 2015 is the year of the Goat. For people born in the year of the Goat (1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 ), 2015 is considered an auspicious year. Some random facts for those born under the goat sign (we know it sounds so uncool)-
Lucky Colors: brown, red, purple
Lucky Numbers: 2, 7
Lucky Flowers: carnation, primrose
If you know a Goat, then maybe this may resonate with you, we’ll let you be the judge.
People born in a year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.
They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.
Though they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending much time in their thoughts. Goats like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first class appearance. Although goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.
This blog I am super lucky to have a guest appearance blogger, my gorgeous 8 year old daughter, Arshia, who is going to give you her take on CNY.
Hi every body I am Arshia and I am going to write about Chinese new year.
This year it will be the year of the goat. It will take place next wednesday.
Why do they have the year of the goat and other years you ask I will tell you why.
Many many years ago there was a Chinese Emperor and he said that all the animals that he knew of will have a race. So all the animals started the race and the rat said to the cat that there is a fish in the lake but the cat did not know how to swim but went in the water anyway and drowned.
So that is why they have all the years in Chinese new year. Now why do the young give oranges to there elders, well they give the oranges to elders to wish them good luck and the elders give the red packet called “hong bao” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_envelope) in Chinese to young to wish them good luck to. Okay now that is all of it for Chinese new year but yesterday I went to Chinatown and got all cool magic tricks it is lots of fun and all you guys should go there.They have a big goats and little goats in the picture above it is good and fun for your kids and you well I have to go now so bye!
So here is wishing all of you a very prosperous and joyous Chinese New Year, whether you are a Goat or not, eat, drink and be merry! Gong Xi Fai Cai from all of us at Forty Red Bangles.
Where has the beginning of 2015 gone?? Hope you have all had a super start to the New Year. We had a busy festive season with family visiting from Oz, then traveling to Mumbai together and further celebrations in Jodhpur. The kids had such a fun time spending time with the extended family and being totally showered with love.
Whenever we come back to Mumbai….we always run out of time. There never feels like we have enough time to squeeze in everything….from a visit to our favourite Swati Snacks for some suva pankhi, moorish kebabs from Kakori House and not to mention all the yummy street food, particularly the good old classic Mumbai vegetable grilled sandwich with Amul cheese! Oh yes and of course there is also work to catch up on!!
We have lots of new products in the pipe lines, so there was so many people to touch base with and to brief about all the new plans for Forty Red Bangles this year! I was super fortunate to have my sister and her gorgeous daughter also visiting from Melbourne. So it was a perfect opportunity to have Sammy together with my little rat bag Omaira in a photo-shoot for the two new designs launching soon. They say never work with kids or animals…yet we managed to pull this one off and the results were seriously too cute! The new collection will be launching in April 2015.
It has been a hectic start to 2015…and doesn’t look like it will slow down either. We are so grateful for all the wonderful time we had with our family and all the moments we shared. Now it is time to get focused on producing some rocking collections and getting them to you asap! Watch this space.
What a crazy 2014 it has been….and there are still a few days to go! Don’t know about you guys….but here at Forty Red Bangles, we have seen the highs, felts the lows and learn’t so much along the way. We are still smiling and geared up for 2015…so we either must be nuts, love what we do or both! We wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the love you have shared over the year. We launched in Singapore this year with our I Love Singapore collection. After a slight hiccup of an event, we powered on and came back for what truly was a bumper festive season. We are so grateful for all the amazing experiences we have had this year and can’t wait to get working on new collections. We wanted to share a few highlights from 2014. Wishing you all a super start to 2015….stay happy and see you on the other side!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And although there’s no chill in the air for miles around (just the usual hot humidity!) you can’t blame us for getting into the festive spirit. People seem jollier, the air smells like pumpkin spice and everything looks a bit more red-white-and-green. Our favorite festive event of the season has got to be Boutiques at the Pit Building. It’s a time to meet our lovely Singapore peeps and celebrate with the best curated retail this side of the island.
Boutiques Singapore is the original, curated, Singapore based boutique fair featuring independent vendors specializing in bespoke creations, designs and collections in fashion, jewellery, bags & accessories, gifts, contemporary home décor, art and children’s clothes, toys and accessories.
Founded in 2002, Boutiques has established itself as the only curated boutique fair in Singapore focusing on independent designers, unique high-quality products and its strong support in regional charities. The fair takes place twice a year, each having a sound presentation of designs. The Spring & Summer edition features fresh fashion, jewellery, bags & accessory collections while the Christmas edition features the most unique gifts, home décor and fashion. Set in one of Singapore’s most famous landmarks, the F1 Pit Building is the perfect setting to savour a day filled with superb shopping, gourmet bites & coffee and mingle with friends.
For us it was the perfect time to unveil all the Singapore-centric goodies we have been working on throughout the year. The perfect souvenirs, the perfect gifts for loved ones and the perfect treat to spoil yourself! Inspired by the life and times of Singapore, we have translated the cityscape into vibrant prints adorning a line of leisurewear and accessories. The collection also includes intricate charm jewelry influenced by traditional oriental symbols of good fortune combined with Indian design elements and other wearable souvenirs such as “I Love Singapore” nightwear and bags to take home a little part of Singapore to your loved ones. Our gorgeous Christmas decorations were a big hit and in case you missed them, we’re taking orders at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Did you get a chance to pick up some festive goodies? We have a whole calendar of events lined up so do catch us the next time! Check out our Facebook page for details.