Peace and Disarmament
Singapore Soka Association Youth Celebrate Racial Harmony Day
On July 10, Singapore Soka Association (SSA), in partnership with the People's Association that promotes racial harmony, organized the "GO! Carnival" celebrating Racial Harmony Day--headed by the Ministry of Education and celebrated on the anniversary of the race riots that occurred in Singapore on July 21, 1964. The event was held at the People's Association Headquarters and supported by the organization OnePeople.Sg, the Ba'alwi Mosque, Northland Secondary School and NorthLight School. In total, the carnival drew some 15,000 visitors, in addition to 2,000 performers and staff. Mr. Yam Ah Mee, chief executive director of the People's Association, attended as the guest of honor.
The carnival featured a 24-panel exhibition "Celebrating Harmony in Diversity" which was created by SSA youth in collaboration with students from Northland Secondary School. Also on display were a collection of 10,000 peace pledges. The event included stage performances by various cultural groups, an art competition, games, flea markets and workshops, all which were held under the theme "Peace begins with me."
An SSA youth leader commented "Through this carnival, we hope to encourage each individual to take a meaningful step forward in making a positive difference in one's immediate environment, such as in the family, neighborhood, school or workplace, and rippling out into one's community, society and the world."
From July 19-22, the "Celebrating Harmony in Diversity" exhibition was shown at Northland Secondary School in conjunction with Racial Harmony Day celebrations. The exhibition included anecdotes from the students who had worked together with SSA youth to create the exhibition. Rebecca Moh, a teacher at the school, remarked that the exhibition encouraged students to "reflect on the similarities between the customs and practices of the various races" and that anecdotes from peers provided them with opportunities to learn how their own schoolmates have forged true friendships beyond differences.
[Adapted from articles in the August 3, 2011, issue of the SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association; photos courtesy of SSA]