By Cherry Nwe
The NUS High amphitheatre and canteen was decorated with handmade ketupats, red Chinese lanterns and balloons to commemorate Racial Harmony Day 2016. Racial Harmony Day is a day dedicated to celebrating Singapore’s success as a racially harmonious nation, built on a rich diversity of culture and heritage. An assortment of free food, traditional games and crafts were available on each of the three days, exposing the students to the variety of cultures and ethnicities present in Singapore.
The games booth offered many traditional games such as gasing, chapteh, zero point and kendama, all of which garnered the attentions of both students’ and the teachers’. The teachers reminisced about their childhood days as they actively partook in the activities, competing with the younger generation to set new records. Dr Li Liang Zi even proved herself to be a master at chapteh, clinching 2nd place with a score of 46 consecutive kicks! Students, too, challenged themselves by jumping the highest they could when playing zero point, and a number of them achieved the highest height of 140cm. Evidently, both staff and students enjoyed themselves greatly.
Apart from the physical games, there were also a craft booth, where the students could try batik painting or henna, and a costume booth for students to take pictures with cardboard standees of traditional costumes. Four large balloons hung in the canteen, with informational notes stuck onto the balloons to educate the school on each of the different ethnicities present in Singapore. The colourful booths were a welcome break from the day’s monotonous lessons.
The most anticipated booth, the free food booth, made up for its absence on the first two days by offering an array of traditional foods, including ang ku kueh and tutu kueh on the last day. With the variety of activities planned for the school, it is no doubt that Racial Harmony Day 2016 was indeed a week for cultural exchange and appreciation!