24 Singapore MPs Dress Up in Indian Attire Ahead of Diwali
Video grab/ Facebook
Dressed in traditional Indian outfits such as kurta, jippa tops and dhotis, 24 Cabinet ministers and MPs happily posed for photographs on the Singapore Parliament lawns ahead of the Diwali festival.
The event, organized by the Tamil Murasu newspaper, was attended by politicians from various ethnicities, including Chinese, Malay and Indian. A video of the gathering, posted online by the publication on Oct. 8, showed Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam saying that the MPs enjoyed themselves and bought new clothes for the occasion.
“It comes very easily for us to put ourselves in the culture of one of the other Singapore communities,” Shanmugaratnam, who wore a brown jippa top with black trousers, said, adding that he has been wearing sarongs at home every day since he was a teenager. He gets cotton sarongs from India and Sri Lanka, which are very suitable for the hot weather of Singapore.
Sembawang GRC MP Vikram Nair, who gathered the MPs for the event, said he was happy that the politicians came forward and put in the effort to dress in Indian attire.
Among those who attended the event was Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, who wore a long-sleeved blue kurta top with a red shawl, which he had got on a recent outing to Tekka Market, a multi-shop complex in Little India, Singapore. Also present was Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai, who wore a veshti and thundu (a towel worn on the shoulder). He had worn the same attire on his wedding 21 years ago.
This photo shoot was a follow-up to a similar shoot done last year with women MPs, according to Tamilavel, the news editor of Tamil Murasu, the Straits Times reported. The purpose of these shoots is to show Singapore’s inclusivity. “It shows how multicultural Singaporeans are. We embrace each other’s cultures, with the MPs setting an example,” he said.
Last year, 16 women MPs wore saris for a similar photoshoot.