If you think racism in Singapore is a thing of the past, think again. A recent widely-shared social media post exposes some ugly truths and shines light on racial discrimination in Singapore.
Racial discrimination in Singapore?
User @aborxmal recently wrote on Twitter, “My sister is a full-time tutor and recently a Singaporean Chinese student’s parent complained to the head of the tuition centre that she did not want her child being taught by an Indian.”
This, in spite of the fact that the Indian teacher was well-qualified for the job.
PHOTO: SCREENGRAB TWITTER
Apparently, the child, “took out his/her body spray and started spraying it in the classroom complaining that it was “smelly because of the Indian”.”
What’s more, “The parent brought this up to the head of the tuition centre, who is also Chinese, thinking that he would understand and agree.”
The story has a twist though, and a happy one at that. 🙂
“The head of the tuition centre then proceeded to chase this racist Chinese mum and her kid out of the centre with a broom and telling them he never wants to see them step in his tuition centre ever again.”
We are so glad that the tuition centre head did not take the racism lying down. And as @aborxmal writes, “We need more allies to combat the systemic racism left behind by the older, backward-thinking Singaporeans before it gets perpetrated down the generations.”
Here is the full thread on Twitter which has already been re-tweeted 8,169 times!
Racial discrimination in Singapore: What to teach our kids
How grave is the problem of racial discrimination in Singapore? And what can we, as parents do to prevent our kids from internalising racist beliefs and behaviour?
In the above story, it was the the little child complaining about the “smelly Indian” that shocked us the most.
Here is how you can help your child embrace different people and cultures:
Expose your child to people of different backgrounds starting from an early age, so they will grow up fully aware that there are many different kinds of races out there besides their own.
Encourage your child to embrace friends from different cultures.
Invite friends from different cultures for sleepovers, likewise, don’t be shy to send your own child to a cross-cultural sleepover.
As children get comfortable communicating and collaborating with other kids, the new and different cease to be scary and strange. This will help them function fearlessly as global adults.
When we travel with children, they realise that the world is made up of many different people, who look different, speak different languages, practice different religions and do many things in many different ways.
The impact of these life experiences will help shape a child’s personality and global outlook. It boosts appreciation for other cultures and customs, prevents prejudices and increases self-awareness and self-esteem. Children learn that it is normal to be different.
Expose children to international food, music and art
Make cultural exposure a way of life. Little minds are stimulated by the smells and tastes of new food, the colour and drama of art, stories, and the rhythm of music.
These varied sensory experiences build curiosity and imagination, help them to grow, and embrace the new and different.
Model good behaviour
As Roshni Mahtani, Founder & CEO of theAsianparent, says, “Kids are a reflection of their parents. If we want our kids to not be racist, then we ourself must embrace all races (lah!).”
Be a good example for your kids. Refrain from making negative remarks about other races or using derogatory terms to describe others. Show your children that you have friends of all backgrounds.
Our children need to understand that other people may feel a certain way when treated differently.
To develop this skill, ask your kids questions about how their favourite TV or book characters feel when faced with a certain situation.
By actively encouraging your kids to think about other people’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you are helping them to identify situations in which someone might feel excluded or is in need of help.
Also READ: With mums like these, Singapore can never be racist