2015 Racial Harmony Commemoration
Racial Harmony in Singapore was commemorated in MSHS in a unique way this year. Unlike previous years, it was commemorated over a week's worth of activities that culminated in the all-time favourite Fun Food Fest that coincidentally fell on the eve of Hari Raya Puasa in July 2015.
The theme for this year was "Celebrating our Diversity, Commemorating our Unity", with food playing a pivotal role in driving home the idea of both unity and diversity in Singapore. One cannot go wrong bringing Singaporeans together over a national obsession: its diverse selection of mouth-watering food! We kicked off the celebrations by learning a little more about some very iconic dishes such as Rojak and Curry. Every morning of that week, staff and students revisited the origins and variations of featured dishes that they would then sample during recess or after school. Staff and students were treated to a range of local dishes beginning with Rojak assembly and tossing during recess. During this session, students were given the ingredients and utensils to assemble and toss their own Rojak to suit their tastebuds. It was an excellent chance for them to bond with their classmates over a dish that they have learnt more about earlier in the morning. Conversations around this activity centred around making sense of the Singapore society being similar to Rojak, in that while coated with a common sauce, each ingredient retains its individual flavour and texture. Applied to the Singapore society, it would then follow that while Singaporeans identify with one another at a common level, each group still retains its identity and contributes to the variety and liveliness of the society.
Following that, staff and students were again treated to yet another iconic dish, the Curry. Two types of curries were up for sampling for this segment; Lontong (Curry Vegetables with Rice cakes) and Chicken Curry. Every ethnic group has its own interpretation of a Curry and all contribute to a delectable selection of this dish in Singapore. The idea of the Singapore society being likened to Curry revolves around how each ingredient in the dish takes on the strong flavour of the gravy and flavours the curry in its own way while in the process, melding everything into a burst of a vibrant and unique flavour that can only be called Curry. This resonates with how one may see the Singapore society to be a group of people who, in one way or another, contribute to a strong and overarching flavour that defines the society, where identities melt into and contribute to one another.
The enjoyment and appreciation of food was definitely an important aspect of this year's commemoration that aimed to increase awareness of our unity and diversity as a society. Yet, it was not all that took centre stage that week. There was also a Fusion Ethnic Costume Parade which saw very interesting and creative interpretations from the Lower Secondary Students, of how cultures differ yet be harmonious and complementary to one another.
Racial Harmony Commemoration 2015 ended on a high and festive note as the Parents Support Group offered a selection of dishes that reasonate with Hari Raya Puasa. Staff and students enjoyed Lontong, Rendang and the likes, on top of sweet treats to wrap the week up. The memories and conversations shared in the course of that week will definitely stay with many for a long time. It was truly a memorably Marist experience.