Today is Racial Harmony Day.
Taking place on 21 July every year, this special day marks the anniversary of the 1964 racial riots and at the same time, celebrates Singapore’s success as a racially harmonious nation.
My first exposure to Racial Harmony Day celebrations
I still remember my first exposure to Racial Harmony Day in primary school. It was a day of celebrations – and one of the few chances I had, to turn up at school dressed in something other than my school uniform. On this day, the classroom would also be full of colour and had a festive and fun mood too, with students even dressed in national costumes other than their own ethnic ones. For example, I remember my Malay classmates wearing Chinese cheongsams and vice versa.
At the same time, there had also been carnival booths set up by students, where we were also given opportunities to taste the delicacies of different ethnic groups – and was to me, the perfect excuse to try foods that I would usually not have the chance to eat at home. So in more ways than one, Racial Harmony Day had been one of the few days each year that I found myself always looking forward to.
As I grew older, and spent some time overseas, I started to actually see racial discrimination occurring. I saw that not all racial groups could live peacefully with each other. It made me appreciate more than ever, the racial diversity that we enjoy, right here in Singapore. At the same time, it also made me feel that Racial Harmony Day could also be celebrated more than once a year, so that there could be an excuse to make friends and interact with people of different races – more often.
Orange Ribbon Run – Race Against Racism
The Orange Ribbon Run, taking place on 29 August this year at 4.00pm, is one way that you can join in the movement against racism in Singapore. The Orange Ribbon has been adopted by several countries around the world as a symbol of harmony, equality, freedom and respect – values that empower racial harmony in Singapore.
And Singapore’s only running event against racism, the Orange Ribbon Run will feature three categories – a 10km and a 5km competitive run, as well as a 3.5km Family Walk this year. Moreover, a hive of activities will be available on for the participants on race day, including multi-ethnic delicacy giveaways, stage performances and exhibitions.
So register now for the Orange Ribbon Run.
Categories and Fees
Here are the fees for the Run. (See Table).
Registration Closes on 9 August 2015.