Will the Real Sang Nila Utama Please Stand Up

30 Mar
1pm - 3pm
library at harbourfront
Free admission with registration

The figure of Sang Nila Utama is widely contested: he was the patriarch of many Malay royal dynasties, a founder of Singapore, a descendant of Tamil Chola kings, and also a distant grandson of Alexander the Great. Who was he really? What do these multiple dimensions tell us about Singapore and the region’s relationship to the outside world? This discussion with Faris Joraimi and Krishna Udayasankar seeks to unpack the many identities, histories and meanings embodied by Sang Nila Utama, and how they have shifted over time.

Time: 1pm - 3pm


Programme 2, library@harbourfront,
#03-05, VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk,
Singapore 098585

About the speakers

Krishna Udayasankar’s bestselling debut series of mytho-historical novels, The Aryavarta Chronicles (Govinda, Kaurava and Kurukshetra; Hachette 2012, 2013, 2014) have received critical acclaim. She is also the author of 3 (Ethos Books, 2015), a novel based on the myths and legends surrounding the founding of Singapore; Objects of Affection, a full-length collection of poetry (Math Paper Press, 2013); an editor of Body Boundaries: The Etiquette Anthology of Women’s Writing (The Literary Centre, 2013). Her latest book is Immortal – a contemporary fantasy-adventure novel that is “part American Gods, part Indiana Jones.”

Faris Joraimi is an undergraduate at Yale-NUS College. An enthusiast of classical Malay literature and history, he has written for a number of platforms including 'Karyawan' as well as 'S/pores' (s-pores.com), an online journal exploring new directions in Singapore studies. He is also editor of an upcoming ethnological book on Malay food. Faris enjoys recording his observations on Facebook, listening to keroncong and watching the world go by with a cup of teh peng.

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Category // Films and Talks