One of the reasons we blog is so that we can share about things and experiences which matter to us, shapes us into who we are or are close to our hearts. Once in a while, we come across something truly exceptional and so closely tied to our values and beliefs that we just had to share it. This series of books by homegrown publishing firm, Epigram Books, is one of those:
The ‘Understanding Singaporeans‘ series consists of four illustrated handbooks, each with 20 questions and answers to promote understanding of the different races and cultures in Singapore.
Titles in this series:
1. Why do Malays avoid pork and other questions?
2. Why Do The Chinese Shout Yam Seng and other questions?
3. Why Do Indians Dot Their Heads and other questions?
4. Why Do Eurasians Love Sugee Cake and other questions?
Minorities of Minorities:
The issue of racial intolerance is something very close to my heart. Having grown up in another country (not Singapore) that not only tells me I’m a minority but has policies that disadvantage the minorities and then going on to study in another country (in the Southern Hemisphere) where, as a minority of minorities, I was at the receiving end of blatant racism and hate remarks, often during the course of everyday life as an undergraduate.
While Singapore is a multicultural country, our harmony came at a price paid by our forefathers. With the world getting ‘smaller’ and increasingly more globalized, it is essential that our children learn about the uniqueness of different races and to respect and embrace one another’s differences and see the beauty in humanity as a whole rather than being differentiated by religion and race. This to us is essential for our children to thrive in their future world as world citizens.
Like most good values and behavior, the best way to learn is through parents’ role-modelling. This is where this series of books come in.
Why we love these books:
1. Easy to Read and Understand: Yes, written in simple English with big fonts and colourful hand-drawn illustrations, these books appeal to children and adults as well. Hence, it’s perfect any families! In fact, my wife Angie and I learnt quite a bit from reading them as well.
2. Big, Bold and Colourful: From the cover to the pages within, the books are very colourful and welcoming. Every page draws the readers with its attractive illustrations and bold colour scheme. They truly appeal to readers of all ages…including parents!
3. Comprehensive: The topics covered range from the everyday practices to slightly more sensitive ones which, given any other ordinary day, would be culturally sensitive topics that may not be so easy to broach. However, the details in the books are general, and not meant to be exhaustive. The books serve to create general awareness of the unique beliefs and practices of the different races in Singapore, in the hope that readers will take a personal interest to discover more about other races and religions.
4. Self-explanatory: The content is simple and very self-explanatory. Even my Primary 3 girl has no difficulty reading them on her own.
5. Great Conversation Starters: The books are designed in a questions-and-answers format for parents to use as conversation starters and family discussions. The books, produced for children between 5- to 8-year-olds in mind, can only “scratch the surface of otherwise complex topics” but the publishers hope that it would be an opportunity for adults to address these “awkward” questions with their children with more confidence.
Here are some samples pages from the books:
Start the Conversation…towards Racial Integration:
Race and religion matters will always be sensitive but learning about them need not be always in a sensitive and taboo context. These series of 4 family-friendly books is proof of that.
The ‘Understanding Singaporeans‘ series of 4 books are written by Edmund Wee and illustrated by Chee Jia Yi are a staple every home should have. Each handbook contains 20 questions, with answers as well as useful tips, to some of the most asked questions young Singaporeans have revolving around the country’s four main races. It is a great resource for learning about unique beliefs and practices of our 4 major races in a non-sensitive, easy yet respectful way. It is a great conversation starter for parents to have with their children in nurturing greater racial tolerance where we can go from racial tolerance to racial integration – where the world truly belongs to all, regardless of race, language or religion.
Details and Price
The ‘Understanding Singaporeans‘ books are sold at S$12.90 individually or S$46.40 as a bundle (The bundle is available only at the Epigram Books online while individual books are available at all leading Singaporean bookstores). Enjoy FREE LOCAL SHIPPING with online orders above S$15.
In celebration of Racial Harmony Day 2017, we have 2 ‘Understanding Singaporeans‘ bundles (each worth SGD46.40) to be given away to 2 loyal readers.
To participate, simply do the following:
1. Follow Life’sTinyMiracles Instagram Account (@lifestinymiracles)
2. Like Life’sTinyMiracles’ Facebook Page
3. Leave a comment below this post with your name and email address, tell me why you would like to win these books.
Bonus Entry: Share the FB Giveaway Post with 2 other friends from other races/religions in your circle on your personal FB page.
Contest Rules: The giveaway ends Wednesday 26 July 2017, 11.59pm and is open to readers in Singapore. The winner will be contacted using the email address provided when entering this draw and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. Winners will have to self-collect the books near Ngee Ann Polytechnic at a mutually-convenient date/time.
All entries will be verified before the winner is announced, incomplete and unverified entries will be disqualified. Please note that all Facebook and Instagram accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no authentic posts or very few real friends) will be disqualified. Happy Racial Harmony Day!
Adeline Tan says
Hope to win the books so that my kids would have better understanding of the different races and culture in Singapore.
Adeline Tan huixiu
Quek Kiah Ti says
I would love to win these books as my girl loves to read and these topics are so suitable in letting her understand about the different race in Singapore.
Chai Ooy Mei says
I would like to win these books for my two boys. I would like them to have a better understanding of different races in Singapore and thus, the different culture. This would enhance what they are learning in school this week in celebration of Racial Harmony 2017.
Chai Ooy Mei
Hope to win these books and contribute to my
child’s class library . More kids will benefit
Name Rebecca CHAN
Email [email protected]
Lai Siew Ling says
I would like to win these sets so that can understand other races more then can teach my Son about importance of racial harmony
It will be an interesting read for my boy especially when they are celebrating racial harmony day in school, it will give him more understanding of the different races and their cultures.
Oh what interesting books for children! Would love for my boys to read them!
Would love to win these books to inculcate the importance of social cohesiveness that we may sometimes take for granted in Singapore, to my children.
FB: Ajeek Syasya
Toh Shir Nie says
Really hope to win these bundles books for my two presschoolers of age 4 and 5+. They started to ask many questions and have been so curious why Malay and Indian use hand to eat, why Malays can only eat Halal food etc
It’s a big bold words book so the kids definitely will like it and hope my elder can read by himself soon by exposing them to reading.
Name Toh Shir Nie
Email [email protected]
FB Toh Shir Nie
Cynthia Tan li pin says
Would like to win these books for my 3 young children. Singapore is a multiracial country, it’s important for children to learn and understand the beliefs and practices of other races and religion so that we can respect each other and live in Harmony.
Jaime chan says
Jaime chan [email protected]
We borrowed two of the books from the library and my 8 year old loved and keep questioning the daddy on facts found in the book. This set is a keeper!
Vanessa Lau says
Would love to win this set of books and read to him so he can understand racial harmony better
Koh shir li says
My 5 year old has classmates of different races and religions and play with them well. He loves the daily routine of bedtime stories. This would broadened his knowledge of the differences that we need to tolerate to live in harmony. Not to mentioned it can be topics starters for discussions too.
Koh Shir Li
I’ll like to win these sets to teach my kids more about other races and how to live in harmony.
I would like to win these books so that we can understand more about the different races and culture about Singapore, in a great family bonding way though reading
Winnie Low says
I would like to win this set for my little inquisitive prince who is 5 years old and tend to ask difficult questions that I find it hard to answer 🙂
He is curious about so many things such as why the moon is always following us and told me that daddy is a Malay as he is a Malaysian (by the way, daddy is a Chinese:D)
I think this set would help my prince and me to explore many questions about race and religion. And it is important to start young and discuss these issues with him and not take things for granted that he would understand even though he grows up in a multicultural environment with much racial and religious acceptance and tolerance.
I want him to grow up understanding the diversity of our country better, appreciating the cultural differences that exist among the main four ethnicities—Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian.
Name: Low Shuting Winnie
Email Add: [email protected]
Fantastic books for the kids to better understand their friends!
ivy lock says
My children and I would love to win this set as my son swimming buddy is Indian and my son would love to know more about their culture. He is at a curious age and he did really ask me many question like why they dot their forehead. My girl is in a SAP, she on the other hand do not have any friends that are non-Chinese, I think its important they learn about the 4 races in Singapore. Especially through books, they seems to learn better than us trying to talk to them.
email: [email protected]
Juliana Toh says
Hope to win this set of books so that my children can learn more about their own culture and other friends from other races’ cultures.
Kathryn Ng says
Books are powerful teaching tools. Would love to have these to expose my kids to the different races and their customs. Thanks for the giveaway!
Sharon Wong says
It would be great to read these books with my daughter to find out more about other races pitched at her level, something that I find difficult to explain to her sometimes. Looking forward to reading them!
Hope to let my 3 kids understand different race better through these books!
Adeline Yang says
Would love to win this set of books for my girls. It would be interesting for them to read and get to know more of other races and their cultures, especially so when we are residing overseas now.
Phoebe Ewe says
Would love to win this for my son who will be entering P1
Serene Tay says
Hope to win these books for my boys and girl so that they can understand more about their own and different culture.
I would love to win this series! My girls have no classmates of other races in their preschool class despite it being a regular school. My elder one is starting P1 next year where she will be meeting lots of new friends and I would like to prepare her for the new mix of friends so that she can manage well and look forward to maintaining the new friendships forged!
My little boss would like this series. Me too
Candles Choo says
Will be greatly wonderful to get the giveaway so the kids will understand different races cultures ?
Liked & Shared
These books are great to teach the kids about the different races and culture. It uses simple English and pictures for them to understand the content better. A great time to read now as they are celebrating racial harmony day in school.
Pearlyn Woo says
Hope to win for my boy. A great way to teach him abt other races and culture.
I’d like to win these books for my little man turning 38mths n loving books! It’d be so interesting to read and learn all about our fellow Singaporeans different culture and lifestyle !
Can’t wait to get my hands on them ???
Christina Yeong says
Thank you for blessing these giveaways. ?
It will be a great set of readings for my kids to further understand and be aware of the different races, religions and their unique practices. Given that these are written for the younger children, they will be able to relate and understand. In addition, we have a small community among my kids and their friends to circulate reading materials so more children can benefits from these books.
Thanks again for the giveaway.
Jamie lim says
Would love for my preschooler to Understand more about other races, traditions and practices to help foster racial harmony from young. Even as an adult, I would benefit from these books! 🙂
Cynthia Lau says
Hope to win this for my girls to know about the different races and cultures .
Carol Mei Mei Lim says
Singapore prides herself as a peaceful and harmonious multi-racial society. But in reality, many of us don’t really understand one anothers’ cultures, beliefs and values very well. I hope to use this set of books to raise my own awareness as well as to educated my children. Thanks!
Robert Sim says
My family has close Indian and Eurasian friends, and it will be good to know more about why they do what they do, to enhance our mutual understanding, respect and appreciation.
Tay Mui Keng says
Name: Tay Mui Keng
Email: [email protected]
Would like to win, to learn more about the different races and their cultures, in order to share more with my 3 kids and pupils. Would be good reads for my 10 yo who is in a mostly (more than 90%) Chinese primary school, and my curious 4 yo.
Li Jinghan says
My husband and I are an interracial couple and we’ve always talked about how important it is to educate our daughter about the differences between the races and religions in Singapore, and the beauty within these differences. This set of books can help us do just that and we’d be thrilled to have one for her!