It’s pretty sad that you’re working in a foreign country, far away from your family and home.
But you know what’s worse?
When you can’t go home and spend time with them even on special occasions.
Foreign Workers Open Up About Their Deepavali Experience
Channel NewsAsia ran an article on foreign workers in Singapore during Deepavali. And it’ll tug at your heartstrings when you read it.
One foreign worker, 31-year-old construction worker, Kotisuntaram, who has a 5-year-old son and a wife said that he wished he could be with them
However, this year, he’ll only be seeing his family through a screen. He’ll be video-calling them from his dormitory this festive season.
The reason for staying behind in Singapore? He wants to send his salary back to his family in India instead of spending it on air tickets.
Kotisuntaram could remember the previous year’s Deepavali where he went back to India and spent time with his family.
He picked out new clothes for his wife and son, spent the day together and end it off with watching the fireworks.
“I was so happy to be with my family. So happy.”
Other Foreign Workers Tried To Cheer Themselves Up With Friends
Many foreign workers will not be able to make their way back home to celebrate the festive occasion due to the high price of air tickets.
“They are my family so I’m happy if I’m with them for Deepavali, but economically it is not good for me.”
A return air ticket cost $300, a pretty hefty sum when you take into account their low monthly salary.
According to the report, foreign workers have to pay high agent fees when coming to Singapore to work and some of them are still struggling to pay it off.
So what some of the foreign workers do is to cook in their own dormitories, eat with friends then go out together to the movies.
It’s like you’re working in the UK and you’re not able to come home for Chinese New Year, a time meant for family.
Heartwarming Gestures By Various S’poreans
Just to prove that Singaporeans aren’t a heartless bunch, there are organisations out there who seek to help alleviate the foreign workers’ sadness.
Like the Oh Wow! initiative launched by It’s Raining Raincoats.
View this post on Instagram
We are now just a few weeks away from Deepavali and the end of year festive season. Please find it in your hearts to do something nice for our migrant workers and join in the #OHWOW initiative. Sign up link in bio! Please help us spread the word and share this post! #itsrainingraincoats #ohwow #forthesakeoftheworkers #sgcares #wecandobetter #sggiving #singaporekindnessmovement #volunteering #sharing #migrantworkers #philanthropy
The initiative encourages Singaporeans to bring foreign workers into their homes for a meal, bring them out for a restaurant makan session or even lunch together with them at various worksites.
“Actions like these show them that there are Singaporeans out there who care about their welfare. These workers helped build this city and this shows that people are genuinely aware of them.”
You can join the scheme here.
But Then Again, There’s The Other Side of the Coin
Just like how there are heartwarming Singaporeans out there, there are those who aren’t that sympathetic to their plight.
Foreign workers should be happy to be here making a living in Singapore. Plus, at least you can video call now.
Another said they have it better simply because:
Well, anything also can anyhowly reference to NS. Powder.
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