SINGAPORE - Some 50 youths from various faiths folded 2,500 lotus flowers at the Buddhist Fellowship East centre on Saturday morning (May 6), as part of a multi-religious effort to learn and understand more of the Buddhist faith ahead of Vesak Day on Wednesday.
The youths are racial harmony ambassadors from the South East Community Development Council (CDC). They come from various neighbourhood and SAP schools, and a madrasah from the South East district.
They were joined by 30 senior citizens from Tembusu Senior Activity Centre and Shan You Counselling Centre.
These lotus flowers, which contain personalised messages written by the youths, will be distributed to the public on Vesak Day. The number folded - 2,500 - is a tribute to the number of years Buddhism has been estimated to be around.
Participant Zakiyyah Marzouq, 19, said this was her first time folding a lotus flower, which she learnt stood for purity within the Buddhist faith.
"I signed up for this because I wanted the exposure to different religions here in Singapore, and to know more about Buddhism. I used to know of it as just one of the religions in Singapore, but not how it was practised or what it stands for," said the pre-university student from the Madrasah Al Ma'arif Al Islamiah.
South East district mayor Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, who joined the participants in the folding of the lotus flower, said: "One of the unique features of Singapore is the diversity of cultures we are exposed to. It is reassuring to see the youths embracing our rich heritage and making an effort to understand and appreciate anothers' beliefs and practices."
This is the third instalment of the South East CDC's racial harmony programme, which aims to build greater awareness and appreciation of racial and social harmony.
Previous events include volunteers learning about Ramadan and fasting an entire day, and visiting the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple in Ceylon Road to understand the rituals and practices associated with Deepavali.