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Curb the anti-foreigner ranting

Published on Apr 18, 2014 5:58 AM

There's much to be said for the spirit of the Chingay Parade, well rooted after over 40 years, which inspires people to "celebrate together as one" the different cultures of Singapore and the world, as its organisers put it. That international flavour has been a highlight of the much-loved street event over the years.

Singaporeans have also come to appreciate the cultural expression of foreign residents, like the Songkran water festival which is synonymous with Thai exuberance. In turn, Singapore citizens abroad and their guests are hospitably treated when they celebrate Singapore Day in a public place, as in London's Victoria Park.

Plans of some Filipinos to hold a celebration at Ngee Ann City's Civic Plaza in June to mark Philippine Independence Day ought to be viewed in the same light, especially if they aim to follow a similar event held annually along Madison Avenue in New York City. Of course, some of that city's xenophobes might protest now and again but Americans in general have welcomed the enlivening effect of the parade, street fair and cultural show.

Most Singaporeans would like to think the Republic would be no less welcoming to Filipinos.

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