On Sunday evening, I went on an Integration Community Learning Journey with a group of 40 residents comprising locals and several new immigrants.
From Mountbatten Community Centre, a coach sent us to Clarke Quay where we took a water taxi and cruised along the scenic Singapore River. Tour guide Joseph provided information and explained the historical heritage of the river to the group.
Although it was drizzling, the wet weather could not dampen the excitement of our group. Besides young parents who brought along their kids, there were two 3-generation families and several elderly couples.
This tour provided opportunities for new immigrants and locals to interact and communicate with one another, and improve their understanding of each other's culture, values and norms.
I was warmed several instances by the sweet gestures of these people who shared their snacks with me and sheltered me with their umbrellas as I clicked away with my camera in the rain.
The cruise along the Singapore River was an absolutely enjoyable journey. The scenic sights on both sides of the river yielded many beautiful pictures.
We had a quick stop at the Marina Bay City Gallery where interactive exhibits tell the story of Marina Bay's transformation from a busy trading port to the dazzling Singapore centrepiece it is today.
We have a bird's eye view of Marina Bay's intricate architecture and lush gardens over a digital state-of-the-art model.
A bento dinner was given to each of us and we had a picnic on the event plaza overlooking the beautiful Marina Bay.
View of our financial district at night from Marina promenade
There was a 45-minutte break for members to window shop in Marina Bay Sands Shopping Mall before the laser show started at 8pm. Unfortunately it started to rain and we had to watch the laser show from inside the mall. I will go back for this light and water outdoor spectacle another day.
Through this integration programme which lasted 4 hours and cost a mere S$2, the new Singapore citizens have an opportunity to mingle and interact with grassroots leaders and volunteers from their local community who share their experiences of living in a multi-racial and multi-religious society. They also learn how they can participate or volunteer in the community. Family members are encouraged to participate in the programmes offered to the new Singapore citizens, to make this learning journey meaningful for the entire family.
First Commenter -