Category: Nationally Speaking

Fathers, Brothers, and Sons

By Raffles Press

In our earlier article entitled A Home Away From Home, we explored how migrant communities in Little India have imbued migrant workers, both Indian and Bangladeshi, with a sense of belonging. 

From Bangla Square to Mustafa Centre, there are numerous spaces for foreign workers to mingle, enjoy food from their own culture, and buy goods to send back home to their loved ones—in other words, spaces where they can feel connected to their motherland. And foreign workers have rated Singapore as one of the best places to work: an MOM survey found that close to 90% of foreign workers say they are satisfied with working in Singapore. 

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A Home Away From Home

By Raffles Press

When we think of Little India, the typical perspective of a tourist comes to mind: bright lights, flavourful Indian cuisine, and vibrant colours of ethnic architecture all pander to the exotic imagination of the tourist gaze. 

Yet, many Singaporeans neither consider the living, breathing community of everyday people trying their hardest to make a home in a foreign land behind the glitzy veneer of a cultural showpiece, nor see the diverse patchwork of ethnicities and cultures weaved together behind the popular perception of a homogeneous Little India.

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Voice for the Dead: Unearthing the Stories of Bukit Brown

By Alyssa Marie Loo (19A13A) and Kuang Shane Qi (19A13A)
Photos courtesy of Alyssa Marie Loo (19A13A)

Home to around 100,000 graves since its opening in 1922, Bukit Brown became the epicentre of heated debate in Singapore in 2011 when the Land Transport Authority announced plans to exhume the Chinese cemetery for a highway. Now in 2019, 4000 exhumed graves and a completed Lornie Highway later, Bukit Brown’s area space and grave numbers may indeed have shrunk, but public interest in conserving its history, stories and inhabitants have only grown.

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Bazaars: Are They Worth the Buzz?

By Chloe Wong (19S07C), Isabelle Tan (19S03S), and Vanessa Lur (19S06Q)
Photograph courtesy of eatbook.sg

It is a regular hot afternoon in Singapore and I find myself doing something not-so-regular—visiting the bazaar. The crowd is overwhelming and I find myself being shoved around by people all around me. As I wipe away the sweat trickling down my neck, I can’t help but wonder how bizarre it is that more and more teenagers are willing to endure a good few hours pushing through crowds just for a bazaar. This brings me to the question at hand – what exactly is so enticing about these bazaars?

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It’s the Simple Things We Forget

By Mr. Christopher Selvaraj from the KS Department
Cover photo by Differantly, a Paris/Berlin-based artist duo

These can be challenging times to think through the state of race relations in Singapore. Growing sensitivities to micro-aggressions and unconscious biases, racial privilege and cultural appropriation, reductive representations and linguistic assault, among other things, have made for a brew of simmering discontent that periodically spills out into our collective consciousness. These are complicated times – and it can seem simpler to sit and watch the waters swell.

So it was with great interest that I read Is Appreciation Enough?” by Phang Yeu Yeou and Loh Lin, and On Racism and Chinese Privilege” by Soh Ying Qi, a couplet of two recent thoughtful commentaries that set out to carefully consider racial harmony and race relations in Singapore. Both pieces reflect authors keen and willing to lay out the depth, complexity, and nuance of race relations. Both pieces reflect authors grappling with an important question: Are we doing enough to weave solidarity and community from the threads of diversity in which we find ourselves entangled? In both pieces, the answer to this question is “no”.

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