"Chinese", "Malay", "Indian", "Others" - also known as CMIO - What does it really mean?
"Singapore is a dynamic, multiracial and multicultural society." - Are we really?
We are interested to explore what Race and Racism mean in Singapore, and what we (as individuals, communities and society) can do to bring us to our common ideal state.
More than 80 participants came together for 5 dinner conversations. The project started in Jan 2017 and the final public sharing session session was held on 20 May 2017.
Read more about our discussion at:
What’s for dinner?
“I was the only Malay in the section, the rest of them (Chinese) refused to speak in English,” said a 34-year old, recounting his National Service training days. “For the first month every day,” he reminded them, so that he could fulfil his duties, be part of the team, but eventually he gave up. “I realised they were purposely not including me in.”
So what if you don’t mean it?
A 28-year-old Indian male participant mentioned during the large group discussion that stereotypes do have some basis in reality, or “nuggets of truth so to speak”. He said, for example, that he found the various races can smell different. He thinks it’s due to cultural factors like diet for example. Not bad, just different.
Looking for solutions
After the many stories shared in the past two sessions, it’s clear not everything’s hunky dory in Singapore when it comes to race. So what can we do about it? That’s what the final dinner on April 21 was all about.
Why are you doing this?
We (society) need this.
Building the bridge
Promote understanding of "the other side" as individuals; going beyond brief engagements and ideological discourse.
Appreciate the different perspectives that people may have; sometimes, there might not be one right answer or approach.
How are you doing this?
A series of dinner conversations.
Over 80 individuals from diverse backgrounds came together for 5 dinner conversations.
We want to create a safe space for an intimate dialogue. Most of the discussions happened in a small group (7 - 8 participants), with some large group sharing.
The central questions we sought to explore are:
Our original 3-part dinner conversation
We were fully subscribed!
Date: 17 Mar 2017, 730pm
Date: 31 Mar 2017, 730pm
Date: 21 Apr 2017, 730pm
Due to overwhelming demand, we opened up 2 x Single Sessions for more participants to be involved.
Single Session 1
Date, Time : 24 Mar, 730pm - 10pm
Single Session 2
Date, Time :7 Apr, 730pm - 10pm
What are the Ground Rules?
In order to have constructive dialogue, we need to adhere to some simple rules.
Listen with intent
Listen with the intent to understand, especially when you disagree. Then, acknowledge that you have heard the others.
Express disagreements with ideas, not personalities.
Learn from each other
Understand and learn from each other. Try to identify and test your own assumptions.
Who are you?
A ground-up initiative
Connect with the Community.