By Regina Xie
Four of the participants: From left, Wong Huimin (Buddhist), Marlissa Binti Mokhtar (Muslim), Sean Leow (Christian), Rabi'atul'adawiyah Bte Abdullah (Muslim). Hindu representative Jeyanthi Krishanasamy is absent.
SINGAPORE - A representative from the Catholic faith is among six youths going to New York from Jul 4-17 to participate in Touch of Harmony, an interfaith project jointly organized by Jamiyah Singapore and the Department of Higher Education Opportunities of New York University.
Jamiyah, a Singaporean Muslim missionary organization, is the project manager for Touch of Harmony which is a programme of lectures, workshops and hands-on activities to equip participants with the ability to understand global issues regarding harmony and peace.
Sean Leow, a second-year life sciences undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), is the Catholic representative on the Touch of Harmony team of junior college, polytechnic and university students. Among them are also one Buddhist, one Hindu and three Muslims (one of whom is a Jamiyah staff member).
Selection of representatives was done through the Singapore Buddhist Lodge, Jamiyah, Hindu Endowments Board, and the Catholic archdiocese. The youths have been meeting up to prepare for the programme in New York.
Sean, who is also the president of the NUS Catholic Students' Society, said, "We're representatives not just of our religions but also of the nation. As such, we've also been preparing souvenirs and a combined presentation on Singapore."
They have also helped each other to understand the major religions in Singapore by giving presentations of their respective religions at their first meeting. "We hope to share with our friends in New York not just about our religions and culture in Singapore but also about the racial and religious harmony which we enjoy," said Sean, echoing Jamiyah's vision that Touch of Harmony will "provide a platform for exchange of talents and skills and resources for experiencing inter-racial, interfaith and inter-ethnic interaction for promoting goodwill and harmony".