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Racial Harmony Day

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Racial Harmony Day
Observed by Singapore
Type Secular
Significance Commemorates the 1964 race riots
Date 21 July
Frequency Annually

Racial Harmony Day is a day in Singapore to reflect on and to celebrate its success as a racially harmonious nation. It is observed on 21 July every year, with most activities organised by schools and grassroot organisations, including religious groups.

History[edit]

First launched in 1997 by the Ministry of Education in schools, the event commemorates the violent 1964 Race Riots which took place on 21 July 1964 when Singapore was still part of Malaysia (1963–1965) – 22 people lost their lives and hundreds were severely injured. There were numerous other communal riots and incidents throughout the 50s and 60s leading to and after Singapore's independence in August 1965.[1]

Racial Harmony Day has since expanded its reach. Today, grassroots organisations such as the People’s Association and the Community Development Councils are also involved.[2]

Schools[edit]

On this day, students in schools across the nation are encouraged to be dressed in other culture's traditional costumes such as the Cheongsam, the Baju Kurung and Saree. Traditional delicacies are a feature of the celebrations. Traditional games such as five Stones, zero point, and hopscotch are played, where inter-class competitions are sometimes organised. Some activities introduced by schools include designing Kolams and Maruthani, and Henna hand painting.

Harmony Games[edit]

The event is an annual religious community effort to strengthen close ties among Singaporeans of different faith communities to get together and celebrate diversity through games.

Declaration[edit]

Schools are also encouraged to recite a Declaration of Religious Harmony during the celebrations. In the week of 21 July, representatives from the Inter-Religious Harmony Circle (IRHC) comprising various religious groups also get together to pledge their support and to promote the Declaration.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Singapore, National Library Board,. "Racial Harmony Day". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  2. ^ Han, Jamie; Loh, Pei Ying. "Racial Harmony Day". Singapore Infopedia. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  3. ^ NN, Soorya Kiran (24 July 2017). "Harmony Games: Minister stresses on religious harmony in Singapore". International Business Times, Singapore Edition. Retrieved 17 August 2018.