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
* * * * *
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.
Explore recent content
Explore related topics