When you were little, your sibling might have switched off the lights while you were in the toilet. Your heart probably beat faster than usual. Fear may come in the form of not understanding the flip side of the situation. Fear is something everyone has, one way or another.
In this concrete jungle, we are very much affected by things that happen far away from us. Constantly fearing things like rape by an Indian construction man. Let me just state my view first. I do agree that not all of them possess excellent moral values but at the same time do people realize that Indian men are rapist in India because most men there are Indians and not because all Indian men are rapists? Furthermore when we discriminate against them here, it’s mostly not in the fear that they would hurt us but that they are of lower class than Singaporeans.
Many , even some of my close friends, constantly look down at migrant workers consciously or not. They always viewed as people who are have no manners, loud, smell weird, rude and basically disgusting. But really are they like that? All of us would know, if we didn’t fear them and saw them just as they were, EQUALS. HUMANS.
I generally see this cosmopolitan city as a happy place to be in and a part of. But when I sometimes come across people being disrespectful to the people who literally built our country, it becomes such a rude awakening for me. From being treated like they are of no worth to foreigners themselves feeling inferior. We see them as second class people. Some clearly do not respect them and think it’s okay to feel like they owe us their lives. Some of us do not realise that many workers work day in and out, solely living their lives by progressing Singapore. How is it okay for them to be dehumanized by us? How is it okay for them to not get their rights? How is it okay for them to feel less worthy than us?
Many of us do not realize that how under-appreciated they are by us? One of a worker came across 100K dollars immediately looked to return the money. Can you say for sure you’d do the same with no second thoughts? If you knew you accidentally damaged someone else’s car but no one saw you, would you ran away or own up? This man made multiple efforts to make sure that the owner knew he was so sorry. He waited, left 2 notes and came back the next day looking for him offering to pay up for his mistake. We have so much to learn from them especially in terms of morals.
I feel like how we treat them is hugely due to how we do not understand them. If only we took the time to understand what we don’t,this world could be a much happier place to be in,wouldn’t it?
In the hopes of bridging that gap and facilitating integration between Singaporeans and Foreign workers, Geylang Adventures are on a mission. Geylang Adventures started off wanting to show beautiful side of Geylang which used to be known for its prostitution. But under all that, it was to change the perception of people and making them more accepting.
They have Back alley barbers, lougey lang lou and back alley badminton to integrate communication, to learn and tell the stories of them. To just be friends to them and be grateful for them. They will soon be having a project called Migrant mail where Singaporeans help them write letters to their family in their homeland. All this in the hopes that we will understand each other better, to realize that they are equals and much more.
We judge because we don’t understand. We should always seek to learn and understand.
Geylang Adventures. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://www.geylangadventures.com/about/
Goh,T. ( 2015, 9 July ). Van driver owns up to hitting a car. Straits Times. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/van-driver-owns-up-to-hitting-car.
Lim, P. (2011, 9 June). Foreign workers in Singapore ‘bear the brunt’. Yahoo news. Retrieved from https://sg.news.yahoo.com/foreign-workers-singapore-bear-brunt-021924424.html.