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In March, in line with their commitment to deepen mutual understanding in a racially and religiously diverse society, Singapore Soka Association (SSA) participated in two interfaith events and co-organized a seminar on parenting with other faith-based organizations.
On March 1, the Tampines West Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) invited SSA young women's leader Li Jin Haw to represent the Buddhist perspective at their Interfaith Dialogue 2014 titled "Religion through Social Media." Some 120 people attended the event, held at Tampines Primary School, including students and representatives from welfare and religious organizations. IRCCs are local-level interfaith platforms formed to provide opportunities for community grassroots organizations in Singapore to come together to learn about each other's cultures, traditions and religious practices.
During the dialogue, Ms. Li highlighted the opportunities and challenges posed by social media for faith-based groups. While recognizing that information today can be disseminated at unprecedented speed across the world, she stated that the essence of religious teachings can only be truly conveyed through dialogue and genuine concern for others, both of which are emphasized in Buddhism.
Other invited panelists were Pastor Joshua Woo from Princep Street Presbyterian Church and Ustaz Zulhilmi Mohamed from the An-Nahdhah Mosque.
On March 15, some 15 SSA student group members joined the Roses of Peace Initiative 2014 organized by Jamiyah (Muslim Missionary Society) Singapore. The action involved some 300 student volunteers distributing 5,000 roses at 10 locations across Singapore. Each rose had a quote on peace from the scriptures and founders of the major religions (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism) in Singapore. The initiative aimed to cultivate a better understanding of different faiths and foster an appreciation of universal values such as peace and human happiness that underlie the teachings of different religions. related article Singapore Soka Association Youth Join Interfaith Harmony Tour "We may be diverse in terms of our beliefs, but we are united in making our communities better places," commented Elvin Low, a Singapore Soka Association (SSA) youth member, on what he learned through participating in the Tampines West Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) Harmony Tour 2014.
On March 29, a seminar on parenting by authors Richard and Linda Eyre was held at SSA Headquarters. The event, "The Entitlement Trap: Parenting Tips for Raising Successful Children," was the result of an interfaith collaboration between SSA, Jamiyah Singapore and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The guest of honor was the Speaker of Parliament of Sinagpore Halimah Yacob.
[Adapted from articles in the April 4, 2014, issue of SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association (SSA): photos courtesy of SSA]
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by Gemma Novis, UK
A Palace of Artistic and Cultural Exchanges--Soka Gakkai Malaysia
by Dinesh Chandren, Malaysia
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by Maria Guajardo, Soka University, Japan
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