Racial harmony Day is celebrated annually on 21 July in Singapore. The event was initiated to commemorate the 1964 Race riots.
Nowadays, it is an opportunity for schools to reflect on, and celebrate Singapore’s success as a racially harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of culture and heritage (Source)
Students in schools across Singapore were encouraged to don ethnic costumes yesterday. If you have teachers in your Facebook list, you would have noticed them uploading pictures of their students (or even themselves) wearing Cheongsam, the Baju Kurung and even the Punjabi Suit in classes.
For the kids, it means fun times as they get to get out of their school uniforms. School assembly means a fashion parade as they get to showcase the different costumes. In addition, they will also get to eat traditional snacks like pineapple tarts and kuehs as the school would arrange for them to appreciate each other culture.
I remember my racial harmony day when I was in primary school. It was the first time I spoke to my crush and I remembered the words I uttered as if they were just yesterday.
“Eh your dress very nice”
“You wear this to go out everyday issit?”
*chuckles and then end of conversation
And during my racial harmony day in secondary school.
We had our soccer gear all tucked inside our traditional outfits. When the final school bell rang, we rushed straight to a nearby street soccer court for a kick about. Since every team had a mixture of all races, it was like a post racial harmony day event!
Imagine all the fun without ever getting our uniforms dirty!
Racial harmony day was definitely a memorable time for
me kids in Singapore.
Kids know that racial harmony is important and key to Singapore’s success, how else can a group of children regardless of race go run and kick a ball on the same team.
It is the adults that actually needs racial harmony day re-introduced back into their lives. With sites such as The Online Citizen and All Singapore Stuff spouting xenophobic sentiments, adults need a reminder that racial harmony cannot be taken for granted. We just have to take a look at the recent Low Yat riots in nearby Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to serve as a reminder to the harmony which is at stake.
Time to extend Racial Harmony Day to include the adults.