More than 5,000 people gathered at Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza for the Orange Ribbon Run last Saturday. This included 2,000 youths taking the lead to make a stand against racism, continuing the strong support since last year’s launch of the Orange Ribbon Run!
Youths Take the Lead to Race Against Racism
Mr Zainudin Nordin, Chairman, OnePeople.sg, was truly heartened by the overwhelming support from youths towards the Orange Ribbon Run. He added,
“It shows the great potential we have in our younger generation as advocates of racial harmony. We need to build a culture of respect and understanding in our community and stand up for what we believe in. Racism has no place in society.”
Among the youth participants were players from the S.League, students, self-help groups and community organisations, including volunteers and beneficiaries from the Bedok Youth Society for the Disabled.
New Multi-Racial Buddy Category
For the first time, a multi-ethnic buddy category was introduced in the Orange Ribbon Run for friends of different races to run together in support of the cause. With multi-ethnic participants forming groups of 2 to 4, the buddy category is part of the new initiatives by OnePeople.sg in response to its recent joint study with the Institute of Policy Studies; “Indicators of Racial and Religious Harmony”, showing close cross-cultural friendships as the bottom indicator.
Last month, the Orange Ribbon Kit was launched by OnePeople.sg in partnership with Ministry of Education. Containing materials for students to make 6 orange ribbons, the kit aims to promote inter-ethnic understanding and friendships among Primary School students in conjunction with the Racial Harmony Celebrations in schools.
Rallying for the Cause
The cause also drew support from over 700 players from Football Association of Singapore and S.League, who took part in the 3.5km Fun Walk category led by Orange Ribbon ambassadors; including Aleksander Duric (Tampines Rovers FC), Fadhil Salim (Hougang United FC) and Fabien Kwok (Geylang International FC).
For the first time, visually impaired runners and volunteers from Runninghour took part in the Orange Ribbon Run. The event, which also had 5km and 10km run categories, garnered strong community support with participants from the self-help groups, grassroots, religious and community organisations rallying in one voice.
Mr S. Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry graced the event as Guest of Honour and penned his personal message for the cause.
Joining Mr S Iswaran was Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District. Mr S Iswaran flagged off the Orange Ribbon Walk in a festive atmosphere where participants were treated to samba drums, stilt walkers and bhangra dance performance as they walked a stretch of 3.5km around Marina Bay.
Pledge to Support Racial Harmony
One of the main highlights of this year’s Orange Ribbon Run is the call for participants to share their personal messages against racism. Thousands wrote their messages on race bibs and demonstrated their commitment against racism and discrimination, by adding their thumbprints on a dedicated Pledge Wall.
The event also showcased cultural booths such as Chinese calligraphy, batik painting, henna art and performances ranging from Chinese Acrobatics to Eurasian Cultural Dance.
With this year’s Orange Ribbon Run featuring an array of activities for participants to learn about diverse cultures as well as the strong response from youths, multi-racial harmony is truly alive and well in Singapore!