[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Race and religion are sensitive topics not only in Singapore but in the world. From the Danish newspaper's publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons, then the comments made by the Pope on Muslims and finally that quote on how minorities in other countries are "significantly marginalised".

Religious beliefs, when provoked, can erupt into hate and anger. Race remarks can cause spats between two countries.

Our efforts to promote a multi-racial society have paid off through the years. Be it educating the young in school on the various customs and religions, dedicating a day for racial harmony and even organising cultural exchanges. These are just some of the various ways to facilitate better understanding of religious beliefs.

Similarly, the recent Singapore Biennale has exhibits at several religious sites form Indian temples, mosques, churches and Buddhist temples.

Having worked in an organisation that promotes a inter-racial activity has given me the opportunity to understand other races in greater depth. I've been to Little India for Indian cuisine, I've worked closely with Malays and even tried their ethnic costumes. I've learnt a little Malay, learnt about their customs and titles that Muslims have. And I am still brushing up on my Mandarin. I used to read the Chinese newspapers at work daily though most attempts had ended with me just looking at the photographs accompanying the stories.

I'm still thinking how we can successfully bond different races at a community level. I've thought of an interesting game to play. But it is far from maturing. Maybe soon.


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