Yesterday was Racial Harmony Day. And this got me thinking:
There are more discussions in the plurk thread, but due to privacy settings, most you can’t view it (and I can’t be bother with copying and pasting the texts).
Back in secondary school, I was selected for some Racial Harmony Circle thingy, which by now, I have long forgotten the aim of such group. In Secondary 2 (or was it 3?), we set up a booth at a festival that was graced by President S R Nathan. That was the only time I feel special about Racial Harmony Day.
There is always a fundamental flaw within us where we do judge people by their appearance, mannerism and whatnots. This is being ethnocentric. I do too, despite the fact that I do my best not to form impressions within the first 30 seconds of meeting with other parties.
I just completed a module on Intercultural Communications. As with other modules, there are presentations. One of the presentations that was covered was on perpetuating racial discriminations within the education system. Although much references to racial stereotypes have been removed from primary school textbooks, there are still some existing.
(credit: Racialised Education in Singapore, Michael D. Barr)
Now, even with Racial Harmony Day, I do really doubt it helps. Like what most in my class would have said, promote racial tolerance instead.