Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli BMM, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs, at the World Culture Village Official Opening on 15 August 2010 at 1:00pm

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee,
Dr Francis Chong,

Director, Culture & Education Programme,
Mr Lee Pak Sing

Director, Education Programmes Division, Ministry of Education,
Ms Sum Chee Wah


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Boys and Girls,

Good afternoon.

I am very pleased to be here today with all of you, at the opening of the World Culture Village. It promises to be an exciting, engaging and educational place for the youths. The world culture booths, with their interesting architecture and vibrant colours are a captivating sight for all. Their fa├žade will change every 3 to 4 days with the displays put up by different schools on each of the 5 continents — Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceanic.

The uniqueness of each continent will be an enriching experience for the athletes and youths. They will learn about the characteristics of each continent and this lends a refreshing atmosphere to the Village as the Games pan out over the next 12 days.

The world culture booths presented by the Singapore schools on their twinned NOCs, mark the culmination of close to two years of hard work put in by students, guided by their teachers. They researched widely and learnt about the culture and lifestyle of their counterparts in their twinned NOCs. For some students this learning was augmented by overseas visits to their partner schools. Where it was not possible for such visits, the use of technology facilitated the interactions between them.

The international context and flavour of the World Culture Village, is very much in-line with MOE’s efforts at internationalizing and developing students with a global outlook.

Through the designed interactive activities which are related to the schools’ twinned NOCs, for example, tasting different cuisines, trying out traditional costumes and learning to read and write in a different language, they provide a platform for athletes and local students to make friends and deepen their understanding of different cultures. Treasure and build on the friendships forged during the Games and hopefully this will go beyond 2010.

I would encourage all youths to take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn and appreciate the different traditions and cultures, and in the process, develop a better appreciation of your own country and home.

It is hoped that by the end of the Games, the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect would have been instilled in the youths and continue to be nurtured and developed in each and every one of you.

With my best wishes for a resoundingly successful Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, it is my great pleasure, to declare, the World Culture Village, open.