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July 20, 2020
Every 21st of July, schools and public institutions in Singapore celebrate our country’s success as a multicultural society. On this special commemorative date, the importance of racial diversity and harmony is instilled through a variety of fun activities, cultural attires, and sharing reflections on our history.
This year, with a pandemic in the background, we anticipate that such activities will be greatly scaled-down in schools. As parents, and proud members of this multicultural society, how can we step up in educating our children at home?
Wondering what you could do? To get you started, we have compiled a list of various fun and educational children activities that celebrate the theme of racial harmony to try out. And simple ideas on how to embrace and develop racial harmony at home.
Food from Different Cultures | Learning Greetings from Different Cultures | #MuseumFromHome | Learn About Different Local Heritages | Racial Harmony Starts from Home
As a nation of food lovers, food is a naturally interesting (and yummy) way to introduce and explore the different cultures in Singapore to your child. There are many ways to go about doing so:
But remember, keep it to a maximum of 5 with one meter apart for social distancing when gathering with friends or family!
When dealing with food, do make sure to keep yourself and the little ones sanitized – make sure to wash their hands, and if you are on the go, the Bentley Organic hand sanitiser will definitely come in handy.
A great way to break the ice with strangers from another ethnic group is by greeting them with their mother tongue. There is an element of surprise as well as an appreciation that one has made the effort to communicate. Use this opportunity to teach and perhaps learn together with your child.
Start with common greetings like “Hello”, “How are you?”, “Good morning/afternoon/evening”. Practise with your neighbours or friendly neighbourhood store owners or even bus captains. It is nothing too complicated but can bring a smile to anyone’s face. And perhaps it can spark off meaningful conversations with new friends in school, especially with a cute conversation starter children mask.
The National Museum of Singapore has come up with a wonderful trove of crafting and educational activities for the little ones at home:
With free printable and activity kits, you can keep your child entertained while teaching them about the various interesting heritage and cultural aspects of Singapore. Just remember to keep the craft equipment sanitized at all times with a certified organic Toy and Surface sanitizer.
With Hari Raya Haji coming up on the 30th of July, it is a great time to learn about the significance of this special holiday. The Malay Heritage Centre has re-opened but has no programmes during this period. However, they also offer interesting and interactive activities for varying age groups such as:
Similarly, the Indian Heritage Centre is also re-opened but has put off running programmes during this period. Their free and downloadable stay home activities can make playtime at home meaningful and enjoyable:
The multiple award-winning Chinatown Heritage Centre, located within three beautifully-restored shophouses, has been highly raved about for their marvellous exhibition rooms which make fascinating history come to life. Although it may still be closed, it’s an excellent choice to keep in mind for places to go.
Last but not definitely not least, the newly revamped Eurasian Heritage Gallery. This four-storey building house is filled with marvellous exhibitions showcasing the history and heritage of Singapore’s Eurasian community. This is a great place to bring children to discover the history and heritage of this special community.
When travelling out of the home, bring along a handy organic hand sanitizer to keep children’s hands clean!
Parents and other guardians are often role models for young children. Showing and teaching children how to be considerate and interested in other heritages can start with simple acts.
Teaching children that it’s okay to ask questions is a great way to begin open conversations about other heritages. Rather than stigmatizing questions, you can illustrate how to ask questions in a sensitive and appropriate way.
For example, if your child is curious about someone else’s ethnic clothing or holidays, you can guide the conversation. “Ms Fatima, Emma was wondering if you could tell us more about your Hijab and its significance?”
As we all stay safe at home, it is a great time to self-reflect and educate ourselves and our children. These fun and meaningful activities is a great introduction to the concept of racial harmony. Get them talking and keen to learn.
Let us know if you have more recommendations of what other fun activities we can add on to this list in the comments below!
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