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Racial Harmony Day 2019: “The Singapore Connection”

1. Racial Harmony Day (RHD) 2019 celebrates The Singapore Connection, where students reflect on the shared experiences and values that have connected us as Singaporeans. Students are also encouraged to consider how we can create a more open and inclusive culture, even as our society becomes increasingly complex.

Background

2. Schools commemorate RHD each year by emphasising the values of respect and harmony in our interracial relations. Since its inception in 1998, RHD has promoted interracial understanding among our students, and is a key part of our National Education efforts.

School visits

3. President Halimah Yacob and MOE's political office holders joined students at the following schools to commemorate RHD today:

Punggol Green Primary School (Guest-of-Honour: President Halimah Yacob and Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education)

At Punggol Green Primary School, students enjoyed an interactive drama performance where they sang folk songs like “My Sunny Island, Singapura”. They also engaged in a lively discussion on the importance of diverse common spaces in Singapore, topics such as kampung spirit and the racial riots, as well as their own role in promoting racial harmony. Students also experienced the recreated common spaces of an HDB void deck and a kopitiam, where they had the opportunity to participate in cultural activities such as the making of kolam and batik painting. At the end of the programme, students, together with the President, penned their vision for Singapore on lightbulb-shaped cards that were showcased in a dedicated corner in the school known as the SG Connection Garden.

Chua Chu Kang Secondary School (Guest-of-Honour: Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education)

To provide a memorable and rich experience for students, Chua Chu Kang Secondary School enacted three wedding celebrations to showcase diverse cultural practices in Singapore. This included the sprinkling of rose water on guests and having sweet treats during Indian weddings, the tea ceremony for Chinese weddings, and the exchange of poems between the relatives of the groom and bride for Malay weddings, which Minister had participated in as well. Minister also stopped by the school’s Bicentennial Wall, a ceramic wall mural, completed by students and staff. The Bicentennial Wall symbolises how Singapore has progressed as a nation, through the contributions of its people. At the end of the programme, Minister joined students in their discussion on how common spaces could be shared among different racial groups.

Stamford Primary School (Guest-of-Honour: Ms Indranee Rajah, Second Minister for Education)

Stamford Primary School students discussed the different traditions found in Singapore. They also participated in activities that illustrated how the community contributes to racial harmony. For example, P5 students viewed a showcase by Reader Theatre that shared how a community can remain united despite their differences. A group of kindergarten students also joined in the celebrations. Together with parents and community partners, students set up booths that showcased ethnic costumes, local food, and traditional games.

Seng Kang Secondary School(Guest-of-Honour: Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Education)

An interactive exhibition was set up for students at Seng Kang Secondary School for them to explore local cultural practices and ethnic games. Students were also engaged in discussions on what it means to live in multi-racial and multi-religious Singapore. As part of their Aesthetics Exposure Programme, students learned about the various music genres unique to the different racial groups in Singapore.

Zhonghua Secondary School (Guest-of-Honour: A/P Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education)

Students at Zhonghua Secondary School enjoyed a skit by their English Language Drama and Debate Society, followed by a discussion on inclusiveness. Students also learned to appreciate cultural music and cuisines, played ethnic games, and made craft work at stations organised by the Parent Support Group. They also explored a student-curated photo exhibition that showcased diversity in Singapore.

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