This narrative based learning journey enables participants to appreciate the culture, customs and practices of the major ethnic communities through facilitated discussions. The initiative promotes a deeper understanding of the cultures and personal stories from he diverse ethnic and religious groups
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Noredah (left) and Ai Ling (right), educators, share their thoughts on participating in CultureScope, and on multiculturalism.
My husband is Chinese. Initially, when we got married, I was quite apprehensive. For example, things like Chinese funerals held at void decks—we were always told as children that we have to avoid the area when there’s a funeral going on, but we were not told why. But after attending one at a church, and another at a temple, I began to understand more. We should embrace differences, because at the end of the day, all of us are the same. My son’s name is Daniel. When he was born, we wanted a name that sounds English, is spelt like a Malay name, but has a meaning behind it. And ‘Daniel’ is just nice—it is the name of a prophet in Islam, and when my husband’s parents saw the name, they said it in its English pronunciation, ‘Dan-iel.’ So everyone was happy. My son is now studying in Polytechnic, and he is proud of both his identities. As a family, we celebrate Christmas, Chinese New Year and Hari Raya, and Daniel brings his friends over to our place during Hari Raya. His friends would wear baju kurongs to our home when they visit, because Daniel wants them to feel that they are a part of the festivities. Daniel speaks Mandarin, English and Malay, and he salaams both sets of grandparents. I feel that children are more resilient. Daniel got his fair share of questions and remarks when he was younger, but we told him that he must be proud of his heritage—that he is both Chinese and Malay. In the world that our children are growing up in, interracial marriages will become more common, especially since more and more people are coming from other countries to work in Singapore.