22 July 2017
27 Shawwal 1438
Our Indian Muslim Social Service Association (IMSSA) specially saw the HARMONY GAMES 2017 draw to a fruitful close on the 22nd of July. It has once again achieved its goal of bringing together about a thousand people of various races and religions to embark on mutual understanding, peace and harmony. Every year, the religious bodies in the National Steering Committee on Racial and Religious Harmony take turns to organise the Harmony Games. This year, the MUIS Harmony Centre@Masjid An-Nahdhah took the lead in organising the 10th Harmony Games at Beatty Secondary School, with the joint support of Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Indian Muslim Social Service Association (IMSSA).
As part of the initiative to engage the current youth, the Harmony Games introduced six broad activities: Futsal, Captain’s Ball, Tell me your stories, WII Tetris, In conversation; let’s be honest, and Frisbee. To show our sincere support, IMSSA volunteered to spearhead 14 carnival-like fun-filled games booths as addition to the overall games. Some of which include:
♦ Archery – aim the center target with an arrow from a given distance using 3 chances
♦ Human Tic-Tac-Toe – throw beanbags to match in a row on a life-sized tic-tac-toe board
♦ Fishes in Harmony – Answer questions relating to racial harmony to get the opportunity to fish
♦ Shoot ‘em down – Shoot down cans stacked on high tables using water shooters
♦ Colourful Ring Toss – Toss as many of the given number of rings into ring toss columns, standing behind a line
♦ Feed the Hole – Throw balls into holes in a board
♦ Mystery box – Guess items in a mystery box by using the sense of touch
… and more!
Of course, not to mention, our own IMSSA volunteers, boys and girls, took part in the Harmony Games as participants to secure a few medals across many games! But most importantly, they secured those medals with the help of friends of other races and beliefs. Many of them contend that the joy of having found new friendships supersedes any other reward. Indeed, this is true.
In light of the games and the hunger that was expected to follow after any tough workout, IMSSA had specially prepared by hand, a hearty and sumptuous breakfast in the wee hours of the early morning just prior to the start of the event for all participants to enjoy. It was in our best interest to make sure everyone felt well-taken of during the event. The breakfast meal included delicious spicy bee hoon mix, churros with a special sauce, tea, coffee and chilled cordial.
Although the Harmony Games was set out to motivate the young generation of the future to cultivate and forge a deeper understanding of the 10 recognizedreligions in Singapore, efforts were made to reach out to needy families as well to be more inclusive. About 50 needy families were specially invited to the games to witness the event prize ceremony where each of them had the opportunity to interact with the guest-of-honour, Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth. As a token of appreciation, each of the 50 families received a “Gift of Blessings” gift hamper which consisted of about 30 household cooking items and treats, along with a shopping wheeler. The gift hampers and shopping wheelers were gladly sponsored by Rahmatan Lil Aalamin Foundation (MUIS) and packed specially by IMSSA; in the few days pending to the event.
Although the goal of the event was simple: to make friends with people who practice different faiths, it is the base for something bigger – to establish qualities of trust and solidarity that are unmoved during times of distress. IMSSA is highly grateful to have been kindly invited by MUIS to participate in the Harmony Games alongside them to make this event successful. Indeed, as Ms Grace Fu concurred:
The Harmony Games embodies what Singapore stands for, and what Singapore must continue to be – a nation where people of different beliefs and backgrounds come together, sharing a common space and celebrating our diversity.
Let us pass the baton on to the Buddhist community to continue the same, for the subsequent year!