As Racial Harmony Day approaches let’s take a walk down memory lane to recall why we even have it. It is a day not just to avoid wearing your plain old uniforms to school but to commemorate the 1964 Race Riots in Singapore. Although it may seem a little cliche but the importance of really appreciating the diversity of culture in Singapore or at least tolerating one another can never be too understated. Its importance boils down to the point that every decision we make we always have to becareful about all races in Singapore. Take for example on this blog, we have to becareful of what we say about the different ethnicities. On a larger scale, decisions made by the government also has to consider all these ethnic groups as far as possible. But instead of accepting this diversity as burdensome we should instead try to perceive its possible benefits. It should help us understand one another’s culture better than those countries which have a larger population and only one dominant ethnicity. One of the benefits we can reap is a national identity. Since we are a nation built upon a history from all over the world, we have little to call our own. But merging our cultures together sometimes helps us build this symbol. One of which would be our signature ‘Singlish’ that has sparked controversy about its appropriateness. Singlish has become unique to Singapore and the most common way to ditinguish something as Singaporean. Be it Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian, as long as they live in Singapore they speak it (once in a while if not all the time).
Furthermore, interdependence between races also helps mould Singapore and drives it forward because different cultures have something different to offer Singapore in various ways. Therefore, don’t just see tomorrow as yet another propoganda by the government. Try to understand that in a country like Singapore, days like these are exactly what we need.