Embrace Foundation is a non-profit,
educational foundation set up to
create better understanding
between people of different
religions, cultures, traditions and
Embrace Foundation works to bring
leaders and scholars of world-wide
religions, cultures and philosophies
together by sponsoring forums,
seminars, lectures and developing
an international exchange program.
Embrace Foundation is particularly
concerned with reaching the world
public through the media.
Embrace Foundation is an all
volunteer organization. All
donations go directly to programs.
Embrace Foundation does not and
has never given permission to any
outside organization to solicit or
receive contributions on our behalf.
All donations should be made to
Embrace Foundation only via
Paypal or by mail. All donations are
tax deductible. A receipt will be
emailed to you. Please click on the
Pay Pal link below to Donate.
Embrace encourages all who can
do so, to learn about other
traditions and cultures by traveling
as “Grassroots Diplomats.” We
hope that people every where
become life long students of our
“ In every man there is something
wherein I may learn of him, and in
that I am his pupil.”
TRAVELING IN SINGAPORE
If you ever wondered what modern cities in the United States, the British Commonwealth and
Europe would look like if they utilized urban planners, Singapore is your answer. It is one of the best
planned cities in the world, logical, practical with great mass transit, wise use of harbor areas and
lush plantings of trees and gardens that make the city a lot more than an urban ghetto. Singaporean
landlords also uplift the spirits of the public by using fresh, bright and contrasting paint on buildings.
In a world that is becoming increasingly drab, this is a psychological lift.
The Following Descriptions of Spiritual Places are of Eastern traditions although there are both
churches and synogogues in Singapore as well.
Singapore is a multicultural city like neighboring Malaysia, with a primary population base of
Chinese, Malay and South Indians. Religious and spiritual traditions cross ethnic lines. All
neighborhoods regardless of ethnicity are clean, trashless and neat - think Geneva and Beirut. It is
vastly attractive and there are plenty of Chinese Temples (Buddhist and Traditional), Mosques
(Malay, Indian with a Turkish Sufi neighborhood thrown in), Hindu Temples and various Churches
as well as, Synagogues. In fact, we stayed in a hotel overlooking a Tibetan Temple whose
congregation is entirely Chinese without any Tibetans whatsoever.
If you arrive by the airport, there are airport vans that will take you directly to any hotel, (except
those on Santosa Island) for 8 Singapore dollars per person. Drivers, government clerks and the
people are always polite and kind. The Founders visited the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple during a
Murugan celebration and were unexpectedly, but festively guided to banquet tables and seated
where they were generously served a multi-course meal by only men who were devotees. The
hearts of people in spiritual and religious places in Singapore are exceedingly generous and they do
not put business (as some people think of Singaporeans) above human relations, kindness or
The Singapore government holds a strong belief in communications. They leave little to chance. It is
not hard to become a native if you just follow the signs. Signs will tell you in three different
languages, just what to do or not do and where to go or not go. This is the most organized city we've
ever been in. For example, if you have a backpack, you will find on all metro cars, a sign telling you
to be polite and take your backpack off so you don't knock a fellow passenger in the face. In the
event, that you do not understand the language the sign is written in, there is (in this case) a
drawing with a tall person having a backpack on their back turning and hitting a shorter individual in
the face with it. If you, like ourselves, are a big believer in communications, considerate and
thoughtful behavior throughout all shared public life, Singapore could be your paradise on earth.
(Although we have to wonder just how many Westerners with backpacks have hit Singaporeans in
face before this sign was designed and located throughout the entire metro system.) Don't get us
wrong, we think the Singapore authorities have the right idea and we can think of hundreds of cities
throughout the world, such signage would definitely improve.
There are many, many sights in Singapore but the outdoor mall area between Bencoolen St &
Queen St. with the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and Sri Krishna (Hindu) Temple is an
engaging and fun area filled with “Good Luck” opportunities.
These opportunities are presented in the form of lighting incense, donating small change, buying a
red ribbon to decorate a statue of a Holy Personage; Brahma, K'ung-fu-tzu, (otherwise known as
Confucius) or even rubbing the belly of a Buddha in front of any number of shops. Any of these acts
or a number of these acts could bring you all sorts of luck. Of all people on the planet, the Chinese
are possibly the biggest believers in “Luck” despite the fact (or possibly because of it) they are
usually nose-to-the-grindstone exceptionally hard workers.
Old Chinatown is a wonderful area with a South Indian Mosque going back to 1826 where you can
speak with Haniff Sultan, the open-hearted Mosque Officer, available to help explain any thing about
the mosque to visitors. Also in China Town is the not to be missed beautiful, penultimate Chinese
Temple - The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple with the incorporation of a Tibetan prayer wheel in the
garden and an exquisite Buddhist Museum with donated objects from around the world.
The Sultan Mosque in Singapore on Arab Street needs mentioning because many Malay attend it
and it attracts an international crowd, including people from non-Arab Africa. It was undergoing
renovations so Embrace was unable to take photos of it. However, this is the neighborhood where
you will find lovers of the Mevlana Celaleddin (Jelaleddin) Rumi, the Turkish Sufi and founder of the
Mawlawiya Order (often known as the “Whirling Dervishes”).