1. Play: A free online game that builds empathy
To Be You, which was launched on Racial Harmony Day in July, is a free interactive game that lets players walk in someone else's shoes. The project by non-profit Better.sg made its debut with two characters, Nadia Rahim and Aman Singh.
Nadia, who is Malay Muslim, dreams of becoming a doctor. While dealing with parental expectations, she has a secret crush on a Chinese-Christian boy. Aman, a Punjabi Sikh youth, is facing pressure to change how he looks and how he expresses his faith. He is entering national service and pondering a career in acting and modelling.
Aimed at using gamification to help dismantle stereotypes and reduce prejudice, To Be You lets players make difficult choices for the characters in everyday situations. Should Nadia keep the peace or confront a good friend, who wonders aloud why Nadia chooses to wear track pants rather than shorts? Aman is thinking of cutting his hair, but should he stick with tradition and keep his long hair and turban?
The result of intensive research and numerous focus group discussions, To Be You is never pedantic even while driving home its message of inclusivity. Judging by enthusiastic reflections posted on the site, fans will devour each new episode of this absorbing game as more chapters are unlocked and more characters introduced.
Info: To Be You's website
2. Decorate: Your HDB corridor for National Day
Feeling patriotic? Gather your neighbours and decorate the corridor outside your Housing Board (HDB) flat or condominium apartment in red and white. The winner of the HoodChampions competition, organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement, stands to win prizes such as shopping vouchers.
You may glean some ideas from the printable decorative pieces, featuring Singa the lion and stylised HDB skylines, which can be downloaded at the Singapore Kindness Movement website.
After registering your interest, remember to take a photo of the final product and e-mail it in. The contest runs till Aug 31.
3. Read: A book about heritage food written by a 12-year-old
Learn more about Peranakan food with your kids through a children's book, Happiness Is Handmade (World Scientific Education/July 2021/36 pages/softcover and hardcover/$12.90 and $19.90 before GST) written by Ethan Tan Ee Hom, aged 12. He is the fourth-generation scion of HarriAnns Nonya Table, which has several outlets selling Peranakan fare.
Suitable for children aged three to eight, the book, which comes with nostalgic illustrations, traces the story of the home-grown brand, starting with a 1950s pushcart peddling Nonya kueh and glutinous rice. Catch flashes of hawker culture in old Singapore, where illegal vendors played hide and seek with the authorities.
Try the enclosed ondeh-ondeh recipe with your children for a bonding experience in the kitchen.
4. Tar Pau Nation: Crave nasi lemak offers National Day discount for August
To celebrate National Day, some eateries are offering goodies in the form of special dishes and discounts for the whole month.
Among them is nasi lemak chain Crave, which is offering a 30 per cent discount for orders of $20 and more. The brand is a spin-off from the popular Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak stall at Adam Road Food Centre.
Nasi lemak is one of those dishes that are often eaten at room temperature, even for dining in. Only the rice is served warm while toppings such as sambal and fried ikan bilis are cooked ahead and allowed to cool. That makes it an ideal dish for delivery.
5. Shelf Care: Rojak ice cream? Learn to love the wet market in Pamelia Chia's cookbook
Wet markets get short shrift in the modern world. The noise, the mess and the lack of price labels can be intimidating to newcomers.
It took me a while to venture into wet markets despite having grown up with rowdier versions complete with squawking live poultry.
With the pandemic, there is now the additional worry of the lack of social distancing in cramped aisles and the recent rash of clusters seeded by the Jurong Fishery Port.
All of these factors make it a good time to revisit Pamelia Chia's wonderful celebration of the wet market, first published in 2019.