Celebrating SG50 and Hari Raya in Sydney with fond memories of Singapore
In Schofield, a western suburb of Sydney, Australia, some 90 people made up of about 20 families and students from Singapore, gathered at the home of a Singapore-born couple to celebrate Singapore’s 50th National Day and Eid ul-Fitri (Celebration of Charity).
The hosts, Mr Ghazali Amin and his wife, Ms Yoshida Salim, who have settled in Sydney for 15 years, was happy to have organised the gathering to remember Singapore.
The occasion saw old friends and new ones like Ms Munirah Shaik Kadir and her husband, Mr Allen Dula and their 21-month old son, Adam Rayan Dula, getting to know one another and befriend more Singaporeans away from home.
Many of the guests wore red and white symbolic of the national colours of Singapore, to promote the spirit of togetherness – the red symbolises brotherhood and equality and the white symbolises purity and virtue.
Islam too promotes friendship and togetherness, with purity of the heart and soul, hence, home visits are made during Eid ul-Fitr, also referred to in Malay as Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. The gathering at Mr Ghazali’s residence provided that opportunity – to strengthen and establish Islamic brotherhood.
During the get-together, the guests talked about life in Singapore and Singapore’s policies to bring out fond memories of Singapore. Singapore is well-known for many plusses from having cultural cohesiveness and religious harmony to being a garden city and a food paradise.
Those at the gathering had good wishes for Singapore. Some of them are:
- Ms Lin Hj Yusop, who has a PhD in Information Technology from Australia, said: “Singaporeans, in upholding the Singapore spirit, strive to be the best for ourselves, and respect other’s cultures and religious beliefs. Happy birthday, Singapore!”
- Chuck Lee, a Muslim convert, and his wife, Azzah, are proud to be from Singapore. Mr Lee said: “We often hear from Australians who have lived in Singapore saying that the Republic is a very safe and clean place with a high standard of living. We are happy to hear that. Keep up, Singapore!”
- Ms Yoshida (host) was delighted to serve Singapore food for her guests. She said: “The food I serve includes a combination of Singapore kuehs, noodles, curries and satay. Some I cooked, some were bought. This is to remember Singapore where varieties of food are available. Carry on being a food paradise, Singapore!”
- Chinese Muslim Eunice Carey, who has been living in Australia for 31 years, said: “It’s heart-warming to see so many of us Singaporeans here enjoying traditional Singaporean cuisine. I really miss Singapore food and, thanks to our hosts, I get to eat some local food here. I wish Singapore Happy Birthday and Singapore Muslims Eid Mubarak.”
- Ms Nurli Fatanah Bte Abdul Latiff and her husband migrated to Australia four years ago. Nurli, who has a Diploma of Special Education in Australia, said: “We value the Singapore spirit of tolerance. I wish peace and prosperity for our beloved country and that the next generation of Singaporeans will also value diversity, tolerance and harmony in greater heights to attain progress.”
- Ms Anita Ismun, who has been living in Sydney for many years with her family, said: “Singapore has taught us to live in harmony with people of other faiths. As Muslims, we too value harmony and togetherness and mix with people of any race or culture. I wish Singapore all success.”
- Mr Ghazali (host), too wished Singapore all the best and added: “I wish all Singaporeans to live peacefully and harmoniously in the coming years.”
- Ms Munirah, who formerly taught in Chung Cheng High (main), is in her second year of a 4-year PhD in Physics education programme in Sydney. She said: “Singapore has a very good policy of promoting racial and religious harmony with its constructive message of ‘one united people, regardless of race, language or religion’, which other countries ought to emulate for peaceful and tolerant co-existence. I wish continued success and progress for Singapore.”
The guests in the gathering also wished Selamat Hari Raya to Muslims in Singapore as well as those Singapore Muslims who have settled in Australia and those who are in Australia to work or study.
By Shaik Kadir
11 August 2015