SINGAPORE: The streets of Punggol were splashed with colour on Sunday as residents dressed up in traditional costumes of Singapore's different races for a street parade and carnival as part of Punggol North's racial and religious harmony celebrations.
More than 10,000 Punggol residents attended the street parade which is now into its 10th year and promotes bonding between different races, inter-faith understanding and religious harmony.
This year's parade also focused on wedding customs which let residents have a better understanding of wedding traditions and cultures of the various ethnic groups.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC said that, as a new town, Punggol needs to build bonds among residents as more of them move into the area. And parades such as this, he added, will help bring people closer together.
"We can see many young families with young children growing up together. But we also have older residents who have moved in with their children, and they have moved from different parts of Singapore where they grew up and had their roots, and their own children,” Mr Teo said. “And now they are moving in together here with their grown-up children; so it's important to bring them together, to create a new sense of belonging for all of them in Punggol."
This is done by looking after the needs of both the young and old within the community. For example, providing schools, childcare centres, and kindergartens for parents of young children, as well as ensuring senior residents remain active and healthy.
"These complement the many new policies and programmes the government has been introducing to make sure we continue to look after our residents, our Singaporeans, into the future," Mr Teo said, pointing to the recent announcements on MediShield Life and the Pioneer Generation Package.
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