Two faiths, one voice on racial, religious harmony

Taiji practitioners from the Wudang Sheng Hong Health Preservation Centre and silat practitioners from Perguruan Sim Putih at a rehearsal for their SG50 concert.
Taiji practitioners from the Wudang Sheng Hong Health Preservation Centre and silat practitioners from Perguruan Sim Putih at a rehearsal for their SG50 concert.PHOTO: NEW CREATION CHURCH AND TAOIST FEDERATION SINGAPORE

EXPONENTS of the martial arts taiji and silat as well as dancers of the Baha'i community are among the performers from different racial and religious groups who will take to the stage next month in a concert to reflect Singapore's racial and religious harmony.

The July 6 show at The Star Performing Arts Centre in Buona Vista will feature about 250 performers. It will be attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

It is to mark Singapore's Golden Jubilee and the 51st anniversary of the 1964 race riots.

The idea for it came up last year at a meeting between New Creation Church (NCC) deacon Matthew Kang and Taoist Federation (Singapore) chairman Tan Thiam Lye. Both wanted a way to mark SG50, said Deacon Kang.

"Racial harmony is something that we as a nation have, and we want to take this time - one of the most important milestones in our nation-building - to celebrate it," he added.

This is the first time the two faith groups have teamed up for such a production, he added.

Other performers include zen drummers of the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery and the children's choir of the combined Canossian schools. In all, about 10 groups of different religions and races are taking part.

The concert is being paid for by NCC, the Taoist Federation and donors, said Deacon Kong.

The organisers expect a capacity crowd of 5,000 people.

Deacon Kang said: "People who can't get in will be seated at the open terrace on Level 3, where there is a big LED screen for them to enjoy the show."

Tickets for the 11/2-hour night show have been distributed to the various racial and religious groups, but there are some still available at the office of the Singapore Taoist Federation, at 21 Bedok North Avenue 4.

yanliang@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2015, with the headline 'Two faiths, one voice on racial, religious harmony'. Print Edition | Subscribe