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Last Saturday, more than 10,000 turned Suntec City purple for a day as people from all walks of life came out to celebrate the abilities of those who live with disabilities.
The Purple Parade 2022 returned with a bang, and it was clear from the smiles of participants and slogans on their T-shirts that we all wanted to do our part.
With guest-of-honour Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong flagging off the parade, which started at 3pm, the full-day event was marked by food, fund-raising and a lot of fun.
Pictures speak a thousand words, so here are 22 pictures from last Saturday’s Purple Parade to tell the story!
Dancing, singing and pledging ourselves for inclusivity
The festivities kicked off at 2pm on stage with emcees and a sign language interpreter hyping up the crowd. Mayor for Central Singapore District and MP for Jalan Besar GRC, Denise Phua came on stage to share her sentiments about Purple Parade before the performers came up.
Have you heard of the Purple Parade Pledge? Event participants rose to the occasion, placed their fists over the chests, and recited the pledge, promising to embrace our differences and celebrate the unique abilites of each individual.
The pledge also recognised people with disabilities as equal members of society and strive to promote equal access for PWDs in all aspects of life – education, employment and social participation.
Onstage, percussion performers clad in purple and orange from Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) performed an exciting “Singa Roar”. Followed by dancers from Down Syndrome Association (DSA), who took over the stage in their fusion performance “Grooving With DSA”.
Next up, singers from the Singapore Special Voices serenaded the crowd with tinkling sounds and heavenly vocals performing “Bunga Sayang”.
These were just three of the more than 40 concert performances that were going on in three separate stage locations on Saturday. If you missed them, don’t panic! Here’s what went down.
Walking for diversity
At 3pm, when people were getting really getting into the spirit of things, the Parade itself was flagged off by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, accompanied by paralympic athlete Yip Pin Xiu, and others waving off the more than 5,000 marching in contingents from various supporting organisations.
People from different contingents held up different signs, and this particular one amplified the beauty of diversity in eight simple words – “Different forms, different streams, same life, same dream”.
Members from Singapore Kindness Movement’s ground-up movements waved their Singa fans excitedly as others like this peace-loving uncle from the Bizlink Centre Singapore contingent completed his costume with a fancy mask and feather boa – perhaps accessorising for a Halloween party after!
Participants gathered at the starting point, waiting patiently for their turn to walk under the white starting arch.
Holding up a yellow banner, participants from UCares Vounteers lead the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) and Kindred Spirit Circle (KSC) contingent through a symbolic 200m parade march past other people (many from the Apple contingent) encouraging them on with whistles, clappers and loud cheers.
Sally Kwa from UCares Volunteers with other participants from SKM’s contingent wearing smiles of happiness as they marched proudly under the white, inflatable arch.
Wee Kit Bian from Disabled Can Volunteer (DCV) pushing Lex Goh, a volunteer with cerebral palsy and other parade participants. DVC was started by Kit Bian in early 2020, before the pandemic hit. He told the Pride: “We started off this initiative because [the volunteers] want to reciprocate what other people have been doing for them.”
Lex from DCV getting his energy up before the march past, and after completing, flashing a big thumbs up with Kit Bian and Stacey from the Singapore Kindness Movement!
Jassim Jalal from Hay.wecare flashing a peace sign as he walks, banner in hand.
Hay.wecare is an informal community care group focusing on integrating mental health into daily life and share and listening to perspectives. An abbreviation for ‘How are you?’, Hay in Hay.wecare encourages frequent check-ins on the people around you.
Faces of the Parade
Of course, the parade might be the anchor event but there were many other festivities too! Large purple balloons labelled Eat, Play and Shop attracted the Saturday afternoon shopping crowd at Suntec, filling the event space with endless shades of purple.
Energy levels were high during the carnival, with participants like Johnson Ong from UCares Volunteers waving his hands in celebration. Or was it to shield himself from the sun? Elsewhere, Annie Lim from UCares Volunteers was spotted singing and dancing with her orange Singa fan and wireless mic while waiting for the flag-off.
Pets aren’t an exception either! Dressed in a purple t-shirt, this pup was seen enjoying the event accompanying one of the volunteers from the Autism Assocation (Singapore).
At Don8uri, an F&B social enterprise co-founded by a deaf and a hearing, the team greets everyone with lots of love, literally. Holding up the sign for I-L-Y, the abbreviation for ‘I love you’, they offered handmade temaki and other merchandise.
At the end of the day, most participants were like this happy man, surrounded by purple balloons and fellow event goers in their purple get-ups, soaking in the sights and energy with a contented smile.
With that, we have come to the end of Purple Parade 2022! A safe space for diversity and inclusivity, the sea of purple celebrated their differences and bonded over their similarities.
Other stories you might like
If you have missed this year’s parade, don’t fret. It may be an event for just one day, but celebrating the abilities of those with disabilities is a yearlong affair. Look out for more inspirational stories about these special members of our society on The Pride!