16 Sep Teach the young to embrace diversity
SINGAPOREANS, especially the younger generation, must learn to embrace cross-cultural diversity and accept immigrants and foreigners based here (“Filipino group gets online flak over event”; April 16).
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin have reminded us that we should treat our foreign friends in Singapore the way we want to be treated when we are in their countries (“Filipino group heartened by support”; April 20).
Diversity, empathy and social acceptance start from a young age, in school and at home. We need to impress upon younger Singaporeans the importance of cultural sensitivity, so that they can engage meaningfully in cross-cultural issues and deal with them in a mature manner.
Eventually, young people can expand their world views and become culturally empathetic ambassadors of Singapore, who are able to communicate and connect with people from different countries.
Our world is pretty well connected. Therefore, it is even more essential for today’s young people to be socially prepared for such a closely knit world by developing cross-cultural empathy and competency.
Being ungracious and small-minded can affect our future economic partnerships and global friendships.
It is always better to make friends than to make enemies, because we never know when we might need help from our foreign friends.