Come together to celebrate various festivals

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam's presence at a recent Chinese New Year event demonstrates that he attaches great importance to our multiracial and multicultural identity ("Tharman: Reinforce multicultural identity"; Feb 11).

By attending the annual event, Mr Tharman walked the talk in encouraging Singaporeans not only to take a keen interest in one another's cultures, but also to participate in them wherever possible.

Living in a multicultural society, Singaporeans need to be sensitive to one another's feelings, and it is thus important for us to learn about and appreciate one another's traditions and practices.

We all have our celebrations, be it the Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa or Deepavali.

Our customs and ways of celebrating may be different, but we all share common goals - to respect our elders, strengthen family ties, and remember our loved ones who have passed on.

To cement our multicultural identity, it is good for all of us to participate in one another's celebrations.

Just the other day, I was heartened to see non-Chinese primary school pupils and pre-schoolers donning colourful traditional Chinese outfits.

This is a testament to our schools' interest in fostering multiracial and multicultural harmony during the children's formative years. This augurs well for the future.

A multicultural environment is not a given - we have to strive to be proactive in creating and reinforcing it.

If all of us make a concerted effort, we can and will work towards a true Singaporean identity and culture.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng