Once a year, we celebrate a day that is a core pillar of our community. No…Not National Day. No…Not Chinese New Year. No…you know what, it’s Racial Harmony Day 2021.
That’s the day I was talking about.
Racial Harmony Day was first introduced in 1997 to commemorate the 1964 race riots. That event showed that Singapore’s racial harmony was a fragile thing and should never be taken for granted ever again.
…which ironically is what seems to be happening with Racial Harmony Day 2021
With all the hubbub around the KTV clusters and the sensational school murder, we all seem to forget that today is the day we set aside to celebrate our racial harmony.
I’m guilty of this as well!
If not for a friend reminding me, I’d be in the dark and ignorant with most Singaporeans too!
It’s truly a sad thing that apart from civil servants and students, most people aren’t hyped up about Racial Harmony Day. I honestly think it’s one of the most underrated celebrations in Singapore and one we’re all taking for granted.
Even in places where it is celebrated, Racial Harmony Day isn’t as involved as it should be. Ok, yeah it’s true that students can dress up as other races (or with their own racial clothes) but it pretty much ends there.
How much do we really know about each other’s races in Singapore apart from the normal stuff we’re exposed to?
Racial Harmony Day should be the one day in the year where we take time out to embrace and learn more about each other, to go deeper into each other’s cultures rather than just superficially celebrate them.
With all the racists and racially motivated events happening recently, Racial Harmony Day is more important now than ever. It’s not only a celebration of what Singapore is, but also a reminder of what it should always be.
Hopefully those in charge realize this and place more of an emphasis on it and its celebration next year because if nothing else, the pandemic has shown how frayed our racial harmony really is.