Friendship across Cultures

The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) celebrated International Friendship Day 2014 with members of the international community – in an event filled with cultural performances, interaction and shared insights on global citizenship.

“Festival of Nations”, this year’s theme for the annual event organised by Connexions International (CXI), saw members of the international community, including India, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UK and Myanmar, come together to interact with Singaporeans.

Held at the National Library Board (NLB) premises, the SIF exhibition booth stood alongside those from the Sri Lankan, Turkish and Polish communities. Our staffers interacted with members from the international community, and shared with them details about our work in the areas of healthcare, education, environment, business and livelihood, and arts and culture. Members of the public were also treated to dance performances by our friends from Cambodia and the Philippines.

Running concurrently with the exhibition, a Global Citizenship forum was also held at the NLB. The forum was attended by local and international students and members of the diplomatic community. At the forum, SIF shared insights on the important role our citizen ambassadors play in helping build a better world.

We were heartened by the interest shown by many in the work that we do.

Amongst them was Jowyn Goh who spent the last two years volunteering as an English teacher in China. The project manager was excited to learn about our specialists projects in overseas communities and immediately signed up to keep in touch with us.

Anton Moreau, a French national who has been working in Singapore for the past 5 years, told us that he enjoys reading the Singapore magazine, as it presents the lesser known facets of Singapore such as Artichoke, a local restaurant that operates on a ‘farm-to-table’ concept, growing herbs and vegetables in their own garden rather than procuring them from a supplier.

Heritage consultant Andrew Tan was intrigued by the work we do with local and overseas artists – in particular, our AiRX programme. Andrew hoped that we could work with more artists from China and showcase the work of Singaporean artists in the “middle kingdom”.

The event ended with what we hope is the beginning of many inter-cultural friendships that were formed that day.

Below are some highlights from the event:

SIF staffers enjoyed sharing about SIF’s work with both Singaporeans and members of the international community, at the SIF booth.

(left to right): A fusion performance by a Chinese musician playing the erhu and an Indian dancer; the Cambodian ambassador joined in the cultural song-and-dance item by members of the Cambodian community; a student prepares to take a huge group selfie wi

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