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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Racial Harmony or Discrimination?

There is a photo that went viral few days ago and I can't help but sharing this to you.

The photo was taken from a textbook by a well known British activist Tom Grundy.  It's not just a simple textbook published in HongKong, but a very controversial description of a Filipino in it.

See the photo below.

This is from a textbook for children and its all about racial harmony by the way. It describes each race with their corresponding line of work/status like:

" I am British, I am an English Teacher"
" I am Japanese, I have sushi restaurant in HongKong"
" I am Chinese, Shanghai is my hometown."
" I am Indian, I study in an international school."
" I am Filipino, I am a domestic helper in Hongkong."

Yes, we know that some Filipinos are working as a domestic helper in HongKong, but they are only a part of the thousands of Filipino working there and a fraction of millions of Overseas Filipino Workers around the world.

This is what thousands of HongKong students will perceive that Filipinos are Domestic Helpers.

Is this Harmony or Discrimination?

When I'm in Malaysia
I was conducting a training to my clients in Malaysia including their high ranked managers.  The way I speak English is in American accent since this is what we're trained in Philippines. 

All their questions raised were answered and after the training, the manager said something to my colleague in Mandarin, which I didn't understand.

When the manager came out of the room, I asked my colleague on what they've discussed with the Malaysian Manager.  This is what he relayed to me:

"What is his race?" the manager asked.

" He is a Filipino from Philippines, but based in Singapore." replied my colleague.

"Oh, then he must be a highly educated Filipino!" said the manager.

On this conversation, in my opinion, the Manager might be thinking that when you're a Filipino, you are not highly educated, because he was surprised to see a Filipino training them. 

Am I the only  highly educated Filipino in Malaysia?  No, we are in millions!!!

Does this Happens in Singapore?
Discrimination are everywhere, it depends on the level of tolerance by the government and the masses.

In my experience here in Singapore, I can still see and hear few discriminations by other races but not in an obvious manner. 

Singapore is a place where you can see different races from India, Bangladesh, China, Philippines, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, etc...but we are working together in Harmony.

If you want to read more about my life in Singapore, please Subscribe to Ben Alagnam by Email.

By the way, I'm planning to move to canada and applied for a Permanent Resident there. You can follow my blog about Me Moving to Canada.  Hope to see you there!

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