Singapore Tourism Board

Cultura Obscura: A Spotlight On Singapore’s Lesser-Known Tongues, Stories & Cultures

Singapore may be a diverse, multi-ethnic society, but how well do we really know about other cultures beyond the umbrella ethnicities of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian?

Created with the support of Singapore Tourism Board’s SG Stories Content Fund Season 2, enter CULTURA OBSCURA, a 4-part video series where we explore the rich stories and contributions from the minority communities who make up Singapore’s colourful cultural melting pot.

In each episode, members of lesser-known communities share more about their culture from customs to cuisines, lingos to the arts.

Video Treatment

Shot in an interview-style format, the videos also feature our profiles in multiple angles for more varied perspectives. Photographs, old records, and footages that appear slightly shaky were also incorporated to emanate an authentic and sprightly feel to the series.

Visual Identity

In shaping the series’ identity, we drew visual cues from speech bubbles and added abstract edges to complement the atypical stories. Together with striking hues and blurbs, these were designed to add colour and aid the storytelling wherever applicable.

Episode 1
Guardians of Henghua

While more than 9 dialect groups make up the Singapore Chinese community, the Henghua people number just a little more than 26,000. Opening the series, the Guardians of Henghua introduce us to its arts, traditions, food and language in the first episode.

To boost engagement and drive people towards the main episodes, we created supporting video pieces that teased, with educational yet easy-to-digest content angles from the unique perspectives of our guests.

Episode 2
Bringing Back The Cool In Kristang

Descended from the Portuguese who came to Singapore hundreds of years ago and intermarried with the locals, the small but fiery Kristang community will talk us through their rich culture, including its language which has been classified “severely endangered” by UNESCO.

Giving us a sample of their flavourful Eurasian language and cuisine, the Kristangs tease with a sharing of their favourite food and phrases.

Episode 3
The Malayalee Mission

From Mollywood to Malabar Dum Biryani and also the Malayalam language, the Malayalees gave us a taste of their colourful celebrations and traditions in this penultimate episode of Cultura Obscura.

The Malayalees introduce us to what’s said to be one of the hardest Indian languages, with tongue twisters and films.

Episode 4
The Wandering Minang

The Nasi Padang is such a beloved and ubiquitous dish in Singapore, yet there’s so much more to the people who brought them here. In this episode, we find out more about our country’s amazing Minang community.

Through their sisterhood and Minang tongue, this sibling pair share with us a few handy phrases that’ll be useful in understanding their heritage and culture.

Social Content

To supplement the 4 main episodes, we also made traffic drivers in the form of snappy, fun educational content. These factoids and mini quizzes helped to drum up the excitement, and also drove viewers to watch the full episodes without using repeated content from the main clips.

Backed by our strategic campaign efforts, our digital-first miniseries reached well over 25 million audience and garnered more than 6.2 million views. We even got the word out beyond our shores and into the homes across 8 different markets!

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(Just in case you were still wondering, we’re really an independent design and advertising agency based in Singapore. Not a bakery.)