It’s amazing how time flies in the blink of an eye.
Just a few weeks ago, our organisation was busy preparing for The Purple Parade – an event that supports the inclusion and celebrates the abilities of persons with disabilities. And before we know it, the event has ended.
It was my first time attending the Purple Parade so I would like to share with you my thoughts and experience.
The sight at Hong Lim Park was absolutely spectacular. Inside the big tent decorated in all-things purple, there were throngs of people decked out in same royal colour but in different shades.
And like any other carnival, there were games to play, and booths selling food, drinks, handicrafts, and Purple Parade merchandise. A few enthusiastic folks were also dressed in costumes. I was most amused by a group who cosplayed as characters from Frozen. How it links with the purple theme is beyond me.
Interestingly, the organisers set up a booth for people to spray their hair purple. Everyone was encouraged to patronise this booth to help break the record for having the largest gathering of purple heads in Singapore.
As you can see from the picture below, I happily complied with their request. My fellow colleagues Asha and Marissa did the same too.
Concert and Parade March-Past
The parade opened with a concert performance by many talented individuals from various organisations. Some sang, danced, while others played the guitar, drums and violin. My favourite performance was a dance number by the Very Special Arts Singapore.
After the concert, all 85 participating organisations, including DPA, performed the parade march-past. Sadly there were no trumpets or rifles. We just ‘marched’ (read: strolled) under the hot afternoon sun around Hong Lim Park.
Strong Community Spirit
To me, the most significant aspect of The Purple Parade was seeing how individuals from a diverse range of background, sectors and professions worked together to make the parade a reality.
Various Government agencies, mainstream educational institutions, Non-Profit Organisations, Special Education (SPED) schools, corporate volunteer groups, VWOs and other members of the public were present at the event. They showed their support for the cause by participating in the parade in various means and capacities.
As a Singaporean and a person with disability, this was really heartwarming.
The parade may have ended but I hope this community spirit of supporting inclusion goes on forever. For an inclusive society is only possible when the entire community work together to make it a reality. As Hellen Keller, an American political activist with hearing and visual impairments, puts it succinctly, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
I hope to see more events like this in the future, and look forward to joining the Purple Parade again next year.