Racism is everywhere

In an ideal world, do we need to celebrate Racial Harmony day ?
We are fortunate in Singapore, we celebrate our multi-cultural traits and ethnicity, we love the food from different cultures. Our kids play with friends from all over the world 🙂

However, we are not saints and we sometimes stereotype (skinny, fat, pretty, ugly, homos etc), we each have our own racist streak. Daddy is not saying it is healthy to have these negative traits, but to deny otherwise would sound like a Hypocrite.

Why tolerate each other, when we should embrace? Tolerate seems to imply there is a threshold, and what happens when we breach the OB marker?

Are we mature enough to handle racial slurs? Can we give and take? We can definitely be magnanimous enough to forgive, if someone is truly sorry.

Of course, if someone is harbouring ill intention, and sowing inter-racial discord, most Singaporeans will have no qualms sending him to Guantanamo Bay camp.

Unfortunately, Social Media cuts both way, good news spread fast, bad news become frontpage material ! Is it more practical to teach Social Media users to be careful? or to teach the next generation to recognise and embrace racial differences?

Daddy would gladly pick option 2 any day.
Why should one race be superior over another?

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DPM Teo mentioned 40% of marriages involve one spouse who is non-citizen (Further breakdowns indicate 70% Singaporean males have a foreign wife). It does mean our grandchildren could very well form a UN (United Nation) at Sengkang :p
(blonde hair, darker pigments, green eyes etc etc )
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Meanwhile, we can jolly well expect more “racial incidences” to surface, online or offline.
The youngsters today subscribe to a different philosophy, often more vocal and brash, sometimes lacking empathy.
If and when racial slurs happen again, Daddy believe we can settle most issues at the community level, without invoking draconian laws or the police.


Food for thought ?

Ramadan Trials at Sultan Mosque

Daddy attended an orientation for non-Muslims to understand more about our Muslim friends, their beliefs, culture and the significance of Ramadan.

Living in Singapore, we sometimes take Racial-harmony for granted. We fail to understand that in other countries, some religion can be treated as demonic in the media, or worse, you can be humiliated or harm for simply belonging to another religion.

Under Brother Jason, we went through an orientation about Islam, Muslim and why do Muslim Fast.

Islam is a peace loving religion. Personally, Daddy beleves all Religions teach us to be good, we all need an open heart.

We have a German in our group and he relates how media has brandish Islam as a evil cult in the western world. He first came across a Muslim in Australia. When the Muslim starts chanting his prayers, our German friend and spouse got a shock ! They did not know that Muslims can be peaceful.

In Singapore, he quickly sign up for the Ramanda trials to understand more about Islam faith. He really appreciates Singapore’s multi ethnicity, where everyone is free to practice our own faith and beliefs.

Through the class, we also learn :
– when we bow and let our forehead touch the ground, we are letting go of our ego. Be humble.
– with our palms up, we surrender ourselves to a higher being. Open our heart and our mind.

– when we pray to God, we pray for forgiveness. We pray to be a better person.
– “Intention” is always more important than “Action”. As long as our Intention is sincere, we can help those around us.

– Sometimes, we can hear the morning prayer calls originating from the Mosques.
In the old days, Arabic was the common language, and when we hear the verses being broadcast, the prophet is actually calling for All to come and pray together. Praying is not exclusive for Muslims only.

What is Ramadan, and why is it so important for Muslims?

Why do Muslims fast? We get to know a little bit more about certain practices.

Life is good in Singapore, and we take a lot of things for granted. Do we know how it feels to go hungry? During Ramadan, whether you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, Muslims fast to identify with the less fortunate. During Fasting, Muslims experience hunger pangs, sore throat, experience what it is like, to be hungry.

Muslims breaks their fast with a date. Fasting allows one to appreciate our food more.

Non-Muslims have fasted too (although for shorter period). Remember how we have to abstain from food and water for six hours before our medical procedure? We feel hungry and thirsty when we recover right? Our Muslim friends keep to their faith, and fast for one month.

Remember, when we complain about food choices, “where and what to eat”, someone might not even know whether there is a “next” meal 🙁

For the second part of Ramdan trials, we tour the Mosque compound.

We did not know that Sultan Mosque can house 5000 people !

Love the stately domes surrounding the Mosque. The domes will be illuminated with blue and green light at intervals.

Break Fast together with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We all huddle around a hugh plate of rice. If you wish, you can eat direct from the plate with your right hand 🙂

Thank you Sultan Mosque, and our friends for the orientation. Daddy really got to know more about Islam and Muslims. For more photos, do pop by SengkangBabies’ fanpage album. Daddy will recommend that you pop by our friends ( PY and Rose ) blog account of Ramadan trails too 🙂

If Daddy should have mis-interpreted anything, please let him know so that he can amend.
Otherwise, Daddy would like to encourage more to participate in inter-faiths exchange.

To our Muslim friends, we wish you Selamat Hari Raya in advance.