Ethnic Rhythms: Life in the Global City Book Launch 3 Sept 2015


Ethnic Rhythms: Life in the Global City

Published by Singapore Centre for Global Missions

We are pleased to announce that we will be launching our new publication
Ethnic Rhythms: Life in the Global City
on 3 September 2015

in celebration of SG50 and SCGM’s 35th Anniversary. 

This resource publication contains a timely update of the richness of the broadening ethno-cultural landscape of Singapore. We have invited writers from the academia, civil society and churches to contribute thought-provoking pieces from cultural, sociological, philosophical and missiological angles.



You can now place orders. 

The publication is available for free. 

For bulk orders or enquiries, 

kindly contact Ching / Shanti at 6339 8950 or email


Excerpts from the book:

On diversity…

Within a few decades, the forces of globalisation have generated new migrations of people into Singapore. This is facilitated by the space-time compression of an even more interconnected globe made possible by modern transportation and communications technology…. It is clear that a nation-city-state like Singapore is inextricably plugged into globalisation processes that can no longer be constructed solely on the basis of a nationality-bound demography. It must now selectively incorporate a wide range of non-citizens and residents of different skill levels, occupation, ethnicity, nationality and gender.

– Prof Brenda Yeoh and Theodora Lam, NUS

On the Singapore identity…

Not many Singaporeans can describe our national identity without mentioning ‘kiasuism’, popular dishes such as chicken rice and nasi lemak, the five ‘C’s, and national pastimes such as shopping and yes, “complaining”. Yet being Singaporean means much more than presenting these traits or having these preferences. That Singaporeans think about ethnicity in a largely uniform way suggests that something more than racial difference binds Singaporeans together. The Singaporean identity defined today may shift with the emergence of each generation but the desire to be a society that unifies through the acceptance of its diversity should be the thread that guides every step towards a national identity… And the influx of new cultures can greatly enhance the richness of what a Singaporean identity truly represents.

– Daniel Chua, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

On xenophobia…

Singaporeans seem to have been inclined to blame foreigners for social issues more readily with their social media commentaries brimming with ugly invective. They also seem to react disproportionately, enlarging small fault lines to flashpoint. In addition, these vocal Singaporean critics perceive both new immigrants and temporary residents as lacking interest in contributing to Singapore…. There is a need for each of us as individuals to exercise empathy and compassion in the face of conflicts, so that Singapore can progress and remain harmonious even in a fast-changing and globalising world and local society.

– Dr William Wan, General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement

On kindness towards foreigners among us…

Did you know that God Almighty has a special place in His heart for foreign workers, just like the Lord Jesus Christ has for children, including of course the one million foreign workers working in Singapore? God requires us to be kind to sojourners – foreigners, foreign workers, guest-workers, or whatever we may call them. They are in material need because of circumstances beyond their control. The God who provides us our daily bread also provides them their daily bread. In fact, just as He used the Israelites of old to be a blessing to the sojourners, he is also blessing us in Singapore so that we can be a blessing to others. 

– Bishop Kuan Kim Seng

On the soul of the global city… 

To grow as a city with creativity and cultural influence, we would need a sense of spiritual transcendence. It is a call to grow our soul, to touch base with our humanity, to strive for self-affirmation through the courage to be what we can be. It will mean exploring the destiny of our city, probing deeper into our own shared consciousness, appreciating our cultural history and local places inscribed with memories and meanings.

– Lawrence Ko, National Director of SCGM

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this brochure and all details were correct at the time of publication.  Prices and facilities shown are subject to change without notice.