7,000 made a stand against racism, drawing a record number of supporters in a significant event marking 50 years of racial harmony in Singapore. Organised by OnePeople.sg, the national body for multiracialism in Singapore, the Orange Ribbon Run 2015 was held on Saturday, 29 August 2015 at Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza.
Guest-of-Honour Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, graced the event and flagged off the Orange Ribbon 3.5 km Fun Family Walk. Thousands from different nationalities, races and religions joined the Walk, together with the 10 km and 5 km competitive run categories, in a singular voice.
Celebrating 50 Years of Racial Harmony
Keeping with this year’s “Celebrating 50 Years of Racial Harmony” theme, several personal messages expressing the participants’ thoughts and aspirations were showcased at the event.
Colourful cultural displays like Lion Dance, Kompang Performance, Bhangra Dance and Modern Drums lined the scenic Fun Family Walk route, adding festive cheer to Marina Bay. In the spirit of “unity in diversity”, the event also featured a myriad of cultural activities, multi-ethnic performances, and fringe activities.
The Orange Ribbon Run is a signature event of OnePeople.sg, a community movement from the ground up which promotes racial and religious harmony. The Orange Ribbon is a symbol of respect, understanding and trust.
Coming from All Walks of Life to Take a Stand against Racism
In its third year running, the Orange Ribbon Run has seen a significant growth in community support. Both the young and seniors from schools, self-help groups, grassroots, and religious and community organisations joined in, with more than 2,500 leading the cause as ambassadors, volunteers and participants.
Through this event, OnePeople.sg provides an opportunity for all of us to come together and reflect about racial harmony; what it truly means. I am heartened by the overwhelming response. Thousands have come forward to make a stand against prejudice; and express the care, respect and understanding we have for one another, regardless of race or religion. Let us cherish the friendships we have built and aspire towards building peace and harmony for the next 50 years and beyond.
—Dr Janil Puthucheary, Chairman of OnePeople.sg
For the first time, Team Singapore athletes came on board the Orange Ribbon Run as Ambassadors. They include Singapore’s former Olympian, Mr. C. Kunalan, and SEA Games 2015 athletes Raviin Jumar, Neo Jie Shi, Rachel See, and Renuka Sathianathan. Signifying unity and harmony, C. Kunalan led the recital of the National Pledge together with DPM Teo, community leaders, Orange Ribbon Ambassadors and participants.
Demonstrating their strong ongoing support, over 1,000 Football Association of Singapore (FAS) members and their families participated in the cause, including footballers as young as 7 from the Junior Centre of Excellence League. FAS also brought on board Orange Ribbon Ambassadors, namely Atsushi Kawata (Albirex Niigata FC), Safirul Sulaiman (Courts Young Lions), Stanely Ng (Home United FC), Delwinder Singh (Hougang United FC), and Rodriogo Tosi (Tampines FC).
Corporations, too, have stepped up towards the cause. One such company is Jacob General Contractor, a local small and medium-sized enterprise, which signed up for the Orange Ribbon Walk as a staff team-building activity.
In the construction industry, we have employees from different nationalities. The Orange Ribbon Run serves as a perfect platform for us to come together to stand up against racism and prejudice. Racial harmony could not be a more important value for us in our company, as we all need to work together despite our different cultures and nationalities.
—Mr. Gilbert Quek, Director of Jacob General Contractors Pte Ltd.
Were you among the 7,000 orange-clad supporters at Marina Bay last weekend? Share your experiences with us!