Racism has always been an eyebrow-raising topic in Singapore. With the lack of spaces for open and accessible discussion on what we can do as a nation, OnePeople.sg is bringing the community together constructively to discuss and celebrate our racial diversity.
The rising number of mixed-parentage children and immigrants continues to add diversity to our cultural fabric. With this diversity comes opportunities for progress and the need to create new spaces for inclusive conversations. “As an expatriate who has been living in Singapore for three years, I believe our values and feedback need to be heard. Inviting us to be part of the conversation will make a huge difference. Locals and foreigners will be able to find alignment in their expectations to embrace their diversity,” says Winsy Togelang, Expatriate and Eldercare Centre Manager.
This year, OnePeople.sg is reaching out to new segments in Singapore including the elderly, migrant workers, expatriates, new citizens as well as interracial families. With a more inclusive space for discussion, an improved model can be developed to better address the complexity of our changing cultural mix.“As Singapore is a multiracial country with many migrants, migrant workers should be integrated
with the main society. For them, there is a need for more spaces and initiatives to practice their culture and involvement with locals. Such initiatives will help Singaporeans to get to know and understand them better,” says Mohsin, Managing Editor for Bangla Kantar.
As a lead up to Onepeople.sg’s signature Orange Ribbon Walk event, Racism GoFlyKite will be happening on the 22nd of October from 2pm to 6pm at Marina Barrage. The community engagement event will see an informal afternoon of positivity and conversation. Participants work together to build and design their own kites, writing positive messages on their kites before flying them together in support of the call to rise against racism and unite as a community.
These kites will then be displayed in a special exhibition entitled Harmony Garden on the 11th of November as part of The Orange Ribbon Walk 2017. Harmony Garden aims to be an inspiring exhibition co-created with the community! An enchanting display of the kites collected from our Racism GoFlyKite event and flags representing our rich cultural fabric will not only add colour to the Orange Ribbon Walk but also make it an even more meaningful event. This is not the first time OnePeople.sg is pioneering such an effort. Through community engagement efforts such as the annual Orange Ribbon Movement happening in November and various capability-building workshops, the non-profit organisation (NGO) has been working to foster an appreciation for diversity and nurture cross-cultural exchanges within the community. With a fast-paced work life and shortening attention spans, it is important that conversations around building community remains relevant and integrated in the lives of people in Singapore.
“To achieve Singapore’s beautiful vision, we need to first understand each other. With inclusive activities, more voices and people will be heard and seen. For new immigrants to be actively integrated, they must express themselves bravely and positively commit themselves to society,”says Zhang Pu, Teacher with the Ministry of Education in Singapore. This year, OnePeople.sg continues its effort to push for a more inclusive society by creating informal spaces for these ground up conversations to happen. Creating family-friendly and fun activities, such as Racism Go Fly Kite as well as the Harmony Garden the organisation hopes to foster safe and inclusive spaces for organic intercultural learning.