Human Library: What’s Your Passion?

Fri Oct 06 2023 at 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm

National Library - Pod | Singapore

GoLibrary | National Library Board, Singapore
Publisher/HostGoLibrary | National Library Board, Singapore
Human Library: What\u2019s Your Passion?
At our human library, meet 7 personalities from all walks of life. Hear their stories & be inspired by how they keep their passions alive!
About this Event
Event Photos

Important Notice

This programme/event is open to members of the National Library Board, Singapore and those who are aged 50 years and above. Please ensure you have your myLibrary username on hand before proceeding with the registration. If you do not have a myLibrary username, you can create one here:

About the Programme

People are like books – captivating, unique, and full of stories to be uncovered. A human library exemplifies the infinite potential of learning and discovery as you 'borrow' these individuals. Each has something they are passionate about – find out what sparked it, their journey, and how they keep their passion alive. Hear their stories, and learn from them the same way you would with a book. Come with an open, curious mind and leave inspired!

This intergenerational edition features individuals in their 30s to 60s from the fields of arts, culture and craft. We are excited to have them sharing their perspectives and insights on topics that will resonate with both old and young. All ages are welcome to attend!

At this interactive session, take your pick from among these selection of ‘books’: 

  • Firdaus Sani, 34 | Descendant of Pulau Semakau & Cultural Advocate

My passion: “Preserving Orang Laut/Pulau culture and traditions through our stories and food.” 

  • Haji Abdul Wahab bin Abdullah, 63 | The Last Songkok Maker in Singapore

My passion: “One size does not fit all, a songkok customised and designed to your needs.”

  • Lynn Wong, 34 | Defender of Chinese Heritage & Culture

My passion: “Revitalising interest in traditional Chinese culture.” 

  • Niranjan Pandian, 30 | Indian Classical Flautist, Cross-Cultural Musician & Creative Producer

My passion: “Bridging cultures and generations through my performances, musical compositions and productions.”

  • Noorlinah Mohamed, 55| Theatre Artist, Arts Educator & Creative Producer

My passion: “Connecting people of all ages with the power of the Arts.” •    Richard Koh, 61 | Upcycling Advocate My passion: “Transforming trash into treasures by creating memorable and functional objects.” 

  • Yip Yew Chong, 54 | Mural Artist

My passion: “Making art that transports you back to an older, gentler Singapore.” 


Speakers' Profiles

Firdaus Sani is a fourth-generation Orang Laut/Pulau descendant. His maternal grandparents used to live in Pulau Semakau until 1977. While growing up, Firdaus visited Pulau Semakau where he learnt about his grandparents' traditions and ways of life. In 2020, he started Orang Laut SG (@oranglautsg) to retell the stories of Pulau Semakau. He shares his family's cooking which is lovingly home-cooked by Mdm Noorani who has honed her ancestors' original cooking methods and recipes. Firdaus advocates for indigenous voices and believes this should be included in Singapore’s mainstream education. He has spoken at TedxYouth@Singapore and various festivals in Singapore. Follow Firdaus and his family as they revisit Pulau Semakau in this video!  

With over 40 years’ experience in the trade, Haji Abdul Wahab ensures that every songkok is made with quality in mind.  Now the last songkok maker in Singapore, he first picked up the skill of songkok making as a teenager from his father, formerly a trishaw rider before plying his trade as a songkok maker. Handmade songkoks were once a thriving business in Geylang Serai but are now a dying trade. Yet, Haji Abdul Wahab carries on due to the support he receives from the community and his firm belief that everyone deserves a customised songkok. Find out more about him in this video!

Lynn Wong is on a mission to uncover, document, and revive Singapore’s disappearing foods, festivals, and heritage. Her research focuses on the Chinese diaspora and their involvement in historical places of worship, clan associations, and everyday customs. She is author of Reviving Qixi: Singapore’s Forgotten Seven Sisters Festival and represented Singapore to speak at platforms such as the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Youth Forum. Well-recognised for her dedication and innovative efforts to preserve and promote Chinese heritage in Singapore, her accolades include being a Singaporean of the Year finalist, Ten Outstanding Young Persons Honouree of Cultural Achievement, and the inaugural Outstanding Clan Youth Awardee. Find out more about Lynn here!

Niranjan Pandian is a Singaporean multi-award-winning composer and accomplished Indian classical flautist. With extensive performances and recordings across Southeast Asia and South Asia, he stands as a luminary in cross-cultural collaborations. As the creative producer of Brahmastra, Niranjan curates captivating productions that bridge arts, music, culture, and language. A recipient of the prestigious Arts Scholarship from the National Arts Council (Singapore), he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Music from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2022. Niranjan's remarkable achievements include being featured in "Successful People of Singapore" by Britishpedia and the esteemed "Mandolin U. Shrinivas International Award" in 2022. Have a listen to Niranjan’s music here!

Noorlinah Mohamed is an award-winning theatre artist, arts educator and creative producer who began her career in the Arts in 1988. She has performed in numerous theatre productions in Singapore and internationally, and has been director of various art festivals. Her experience as caregiver for her mother has led her to raise awareness on dementia and caregiving. She shares what she learned in this Forget Us Not video. Currently, she is working on a research project with Tak Takut Kids Club, a community space for children located in Boon Lay. She also teaches Voice Studies at National University of Singapore with the Theatre Studies programme.

Richard Koh has been picking up old and discarded furniture in his neighbourhood for nearly 20 years. Together with his wife Yan, they upcycle the “trash” into bespoke pieces of “treasured” furniture which they sell on Carousell – Yan comes up with the creative design, while Richard does the woodworking and finishing. Over the years, the creative duo have upcycled chairs, tables, sofa set, sideboards, coffee-tables, coffee-trays, and many other unique home-furnishing items – some of which are part of their home! Richard was a Telco/IT professional for over 22 years. During his retirement, he also started a cold brew business, 1degreeC, with his wife. Watch Richard upcycle pallet wood in this video!

Yip Yew Chong (YC) is a Singaporean visual artist. He self-learns and practises murals, canvas paintings and digital art. His most visible works are murals on the streets, which often tell stories of the place’s local life in a bygone era. YC was an accountant for 25 years before switching to do art full time in 2018. He has since painted over 70 street murals in Singapore and the region, and held two solo art exhibitions. Find out more about YC in this video as well as check out his latest work here!

About Time of Your Life Celebration 2023

The Time of Your Life (TOYL) Celebration is an annual event for seniors, held in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Day of Older Persons (1 Oct) and jointly organised by the National Library Board and the Singapore University of Social Sciences. With this year’s theme of Ageless Creativity, Golden Opportunities, get ready to refresh your perspectives and discover new ways that you can care, contribute and connect with others. With creativity at the heart of our Celebration, we invite you to explore our exciting line up of programmes – from talks with industry experts to workshops to experiential learning journeys, and more. Go beyond your limits, discover new opportunities and let creativity colour your golden years!

Unsure how to register for our programme?

Refer to these guides for more information.

·       NLB Mobile App Users –

·       Desktop Users –

About Time of Your Life

Organised by the National Library Board, the Time of Your Life (TOYL) features informative talks, creative workshops, learning communities and resources for those aged 50 and above. Covering a wide range of topics such as Digital, Careers, Sustainability, Arts & Wellness, start your learning journey with us today. Visit for the full programme listing and check out our dedicated publication at

Event Photos

Please note the following:

·       All participants are required to register for a ticket. Each ticket admits 1 person only. Please present your ticket when you enter the library and the event venue.

·       Arrive 10 mins before the session commences. Seats of late attendees may be given to those in the waitlist.

·       NLB reserves the right to deny entry to participants who do not abide by the ground rules.

·       Please note that photos and/or videos of this programme and its participants may be taken.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

National Library - Pod, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore, Singapore


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