Every once in a while, a documentary emerges to depict horrible truths about the underlying state of society today. And the truth that one CNA Insider episode revealed about Singapore? Racial prejudice still thrives in this “harmonious” country, and it could very well run in the blood of our young.
It’s a painful, cringe-worthy watch, but a crucial one. As part of Channel NewsAsia’s social experiment, Divyadharshini, an Indian lady who doesn’t really mix that much with people from other races, becomes a guest at a Chinese household where the children have something of an active aversion towards Indian folks.
As you can imagine, things get a bit too rocky for comfort. There’s a little boy who’s genuinely surprised that Divyadharshini is a Singaporean.
There’s a little girl who dislikes Indian people seemingly for no reason at all.
And then there’s the children’s uncomfortable obsession with her bindi.
Really though, who is to blame for the children’s attitudes? Are we to believe that such naivety and prejudice is normal in young children? Or are we to believe that such thoughts are instilled from environmental influence, passed down from relatives and peers?
Though it may seem nicely wrapped up with a rather trite ending, CNA’s documentary remains disturbing to the majority of Singaporeans because the truth is that there is a significant portion of the population here who rarely (maybe intentionally) interact with people outside their own race. Which is just sad.