In modern society the problem of racial intolerance particularly draws our attention. It is not surprising due to the fact that any insensitive remarks or decisions made by people of different nations cause a lot of racial riots and strikes. Undoubtedly, without mutual understanding between nations, a country would lose its peacefulness and become unstable which in turn would affect, for example, the country’s economy. Hence, racial harmony is the most important social issue that governments should deal with. So how can we achieve racial harmony?
It might seem to be troublesome, tiring and difficult but actually it is quite simple. Personally I believe that, we just need to be fair and considerate towards every racial groups existing in the country. The government, too, must do their share to ensure that policies and laws implemented are not marginalizing any particular racial group. In my opinion, tolerance between nations helps people to communicate more effectively and know more about each other’s culture and language.
So the challenges faced by the government to maintain racial harmony are to understand the cultures of the different racial groups and preserve their cultures while bonding the other racial groups together. This can be achieved by having a common space between each racial group to interact with each other. Moreover, the government organizations or community clubs can organize more activities for people of all ages to enjoy, interact and play as one united people of the nation.
The government can also improve relationship with the other countries whereby the nation is made up of. For example, our country, as we know, is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, consisting of approximately 100 different nationalities and ethnic groups. And we should admit that our government tries to build good relationships with the Central Asian States (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan) and China from which most immigrants are coming. Moreover, in order to maintain racial harmony, it seems to me that, we should also, for instance, have friends of different racial groups.
Even if we do not like our neighbours, you would be amazed at what a word of “hello” or “good morning” could do to your neighbours. It would light up their face and they would feel closer to you. So in times of trouble, you can always depend on them to help you. After all, we do not always have relatives living close to us, so making friends with people of different racial groups would help greatly. However, there is a completely different point of view on the role of government in solving racial harmony problem.
It is widely known that many world leaders today seem to sincerely believe that violence can put an end to violence, and that diplomacy is expendable. For example, in the tragic ongoing conflict in the Middle East, both the Israelis and Palestinians continually harm each other. A change in leadership cannot cause the people to forget their past sufferings, so how can we expect peace in the Middle East unless these peoples can learn to forgive each other their debts and start over?
That’s why, in my opinion, all governments and leaders should think, first of all, of comfortable life of their country and leave their personal beliefs behind. To sum up I would like to say that a true and complete harmony is not created in one sweeping action, but rather, one person at a time. Through education, we can weaken many social prejudices. By helping people try to look at the conflict from a different perspective, by helping them see that different is not the same as evil, we can work towards a more peaceful earth. We must be the composers of a harmonious future.
Racial Harmony Day is celebrated annually on 21 July in Singapore. The event is to commemorate the 1964 Race Riots, which took place on 21 July 1964.
Racial Harmony Day also represents a day for schools to reflect on, and celebrate Singapore's success as a racially harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of culture and heritage. In schools all across the nation on that day, students are encouraged to be dressed in their traditional costumes such as the Cheongsam, the Baju Kurung and Saree. Traditional delicacies are also featured in the celebrations. Traditional games such as 5 Stones and zero point, are played in schools, where inter-class competitions are sometimes organised.
Designing Kolam and Maruthani been introduced in schools for recent celebrations.
Main article: Declaration of Religious Harmony
Schools are also encouraged to recite a declaration on religious harmony during the celebrations.
This audio file was created from a revision of the article "Racial Harmony Day" dated March 29, 2006 (2006-03-29), and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. (Audio help)
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