DPM Heng Swee Keat at the Third Teochew Festival

DPM Heng Swee Keat | 5 November 2021

Speech by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat at the third Teochew Festival on 5 November 2021.


Read the English translation of the speech below.


宗乡会馆联合总会 会长 蔡其生先生

潮州八邑会馆会长 曾建权先生

南华潮剧社董事会主席 洪振群先生






然而,我们享有的和谐不是理所当然的。世界上有许多社会正面临着严重的分化,国家之间的矛盾也令人担忧。在这种大环境下,我国的多元文化是难能可贵的。它不仅能够让我们更加团结, 也让我们更好地与世界各地的族群合作交流。潮州八邑会馆和其它本地的会馆在这方面就做了不少努力,在传承华族文化的同时,也加强国人之间的凝聚力,促进各族群间互相理解。我感谢八邑会馆和其他会馆在这方面的贡献,让我们能够在多元文化的基础上,发挥“家己人”的精神,建立一个更具包容性的新加坡和世界。

在接下来的10天里,大家将能通过“潮州节”丰富多元的节目,进一步认识潮州文化。八邑会馆联手海内外各大潮社团体,并获得中国潮汕各市政府的全力支持,为大家准备了精彩纷呈的节目。例如,南华潮剧社作为活动的协办单位,将呈献超过100个小时的潮剧、现代潮州歌曲、童谣和潮州音乐。另外, 潮州美食向来是潮州节的亮点,这次也不例外。八邑会馆这次支持15家潮州小贩参与线上订餐服务,不但协助他们扩大客源,也能让大家尽情品尝潮州美食。

我相信“潮州节”的节目不但老少咸宜,也适合各族群的人参与。主办单位不仅把“潮州村 ”搬到了网上,还以中英双语呈献节目。以往通常是长辈带着年轻一代逛潮州节,可是我希望今年的潮州节,能由年轻人帮助家中的长辈上网,一起在线上游览潮洲村!



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English translation of the Chinese speech made by DPM Heng Swee Keat at the third Teochew Festival

Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Community, Culture and Youth and Second Minister for Law

Mr Thomas Chua, President of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations

Mr Chan Kian Kuan, President of the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan

Mr Ang Chin Koon, Chairman of Nam Hwa Opera Limited

Guests from Singapore and abroad who are participating online

Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning, and how do you do.  

It gives me great pleasure to attend the 3rd edition of the "Singapore Teochew Festival". This is the first time the Teochew Festival is held online. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, staying vigilant to curb the spread of Covid-19 is now part of the new normal. At the same time, activities should not come to a standstill because of the pandemic. This year, the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan has explored creative ways to bring the festival online. It has also tapped on technology to create a virtual "Teochew Village" that showcases contemporary Teochew culture to the world.

Singapore is a multi-cultural, multi-racial, and multi-religious society. Our various ethnic groups have lived alongside one another for a long time, upholding the traditions and values of their forefathers while interacting with those beyond their community. Gradually, a unique and vibrant Singapore culture took shape. The Teochews form the second-largest Chinese dialect group in Singapore, and have contributed tremendously to our multicultural landscape.

That said, the harmony we enjoy cannot be taken for granted. Around the world, there are serious differences within societies, and between nations. Against this backdrop, our multiculturalism is all the more precious. It makes us more united, and enables us to collaborate and engage better with diverse communities across the world. The Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, along with other local clan associations, has contributed much to multiculturalism in Singapore. While ensuring that Chinese culture is passed on to the younger generation, they have also strengthened cohesion among Singaporeans and promoted inter-ethnic understanding. I thank the Poit Ip Huay Kuan and other clan associations for their contributions in this aspect, which allow us to demonstrate the spirit of togetherness ("家己人") amidst our multi-cultural background, building a more inclusive nation and a more inclusive world.

Over the next ten days, we will be able to learn more about Teochew culture, through the Teochew Festival's rich and diverse programme. The Poit Ip Huay Kuan has teamed up with major Teochew societies at home and abroad, supported by municipal governments in the Chaoshan region in China, to produce an exciting programme. For example, co-organiser Nam Hwa Opera Limited will present over 100 hours of Teochew opera, modern Teochew songs, nursery rhymes and Teochew music performances. Meanwhile, Teochew cuisine has always been a highlight of the Teochew Festival, and this year is no exception. This time, with the support of Poit Ip Huay Kuan, 15 Teochew hawkers are offering online delivery services. This will help them expand their customer base and allow all of us to enjoy Teochew delicacies.

I believe the Teochew Festival programme is not only suitable for both the young and old, but also for people of all races. The organiser has moved the "Teochew Village" online, and the programme will be presented in both English and Chinese. Traditionally, the older generation would bring the younger generation to the Teochew festival. This year, I hope that the young ones can help their elders at home go online and experience the Teochew Village virtually.

I wish the Teochew Festival every success. Thank you.