Curated Reads by the National Library, Singapore

What does diversity mean to you? Is it a strength or weakness? Are we really different from one another? As human beings, aren't we all the same?
Do we not share similar longings and aspirations?

Developments in globalisation over the past decade have expanded what we know about diversity and co-existence. As the world becomes ever smaller with people transcending geographical boundaries and interacting with other nationalities, in Singapore we continue to celebrate our multiculturalism and uphold the value of inclusiveness.

Diversity is not confined to age, race or gender. Diversity could also mean different perspectives, experiences, talents and ways of living.

Learn more about the value of diversity in Singapore with these resources.


Speech by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, at Inter-Racial Inter-Religious Harmony Nite, 19 July 2009


I would like to reiterate that peace and harmony is a precious asset that requires constant nurturing. It will always be work in progress. Let us reaffirm our uniquely Singaporean way of ensuring that religions can flourish collectively, build a more inclusive society and strengthen the networks of trust that bind us together. We must work to ensure that our younger generation is equipped to take up the challenge, so that their children will also inherit a peaceful Singapore. It depends on all of us exercising common sense, goodwill, honesty and sincerity.


Singapore's multicultural society enables places of worship for different religions to co-exist and even co-locate side by side. Dr Balakrishnan highlights three key factors for peace and harmony to flourish in Singapore's multi-ethnic and multireligious society: a secular political system that is independent of any religious stance; an inclusive society that embraces people from different races and beliefs; and a concerted effort among the people of Singapore to build sincere and genuine relationships with one another.




Living with Diversity the Singapore Way

This essay talks about the success of Singapore in fostering a multi-ethnic and multi-religious community living in harmonious unity. It discusses government policies introduced such as compulsory primary school education, national service and the Ethnic Integration Policy for public housing as efforts made to encourage communal integration, social cohesion and inclusivity in Singapore, a global city that continues to be a beacon for immigrants from all over the world.


Racial Harmony Day

Find out in this Singapore Infopedia article the historical background of Racial Harmony Day, which has been celebrated on 21 July every year since 1997.


Singapore: A Portrait in Diversity
Call no.: SING 305.80095957 SOP

Singapore is home to a spectacularly diverse group of people hailing from virtually all corners of the world. This photography book features 50 individuals from countries such as Argentina, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Zimbabwe, who have chosen to live, work or study in the tropical city-state.

Visit our public libraries to borrow a physical copy.

Book cover image credit: All rights reserved, Ethos Books, 2015.