Finalists of a talent competition on ‘Chill Pannu Maappi’, an exclusive online series produced specifically for migrant workers here, shared that Singapore has been more than just a country of work for them – but a place to meet new friends and develop their aspirations.
Second prize winner Vignesh Satish, third prize winner Saran, and consolation prize winner Prasath, who have since become friends through the competition, have made meaningful friendships and built strong bonds with fellow migrant workers, their employers and others in the community.
27-year old Satish, who works in construction is passionate about dance and had submitted a video of him performing the Karakattam – an Indian folk-dance. Satish, who lives in a rental flat with his boss’ family and fellow colleagues, finds time to practise his craft on his days off from work. In his spare time, he also performs with local dance group Rameshwara Dancers, who had provided him with the costume he had used for his video submission.
Sathish added that the support he has received, has been unimaginable. His employer, colleagues, and friends cheered him on when he entered the talent competition and were elated for him when he came in second.
Having been in Singapore for four years, Sathish is also grateful for the friendships forged with people of different ethnicities. His Chinese boss and his boss’s son enjoy Sathish’s Indian cooking regularly, and on days that he returns from dance rehearsals would buy him fruits and snacks for him to enjoy.
Prasath, who works in construction as a painter, shared that his employers have been supportive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They ensured that Prasath was well taken care of in terms of living necessities, safety, job security and salary.
It was during the Circuit Breaker last year, that he started drawing again – a childhood passion of his. The news of his participation in the talent contest was supported at his workplace as colleagues shared his submission video to drive awareness, views and likes towards his video. His bosses even organised a dinner treat for him, in recognition of his win and have since encouraged him to continue his passion for drawing.
Saran, who works in a cleaning company as an assistant supervisor, is always singing be it at work, while cooking or just for fun! It was a co-worker that informed him about the talent contest and encouraged him to send a submission video. Saran was touched when he realised how supportive people were of his talent. Many people that he did not know added likes for his video and shared encouraging comments. The once unsuccessful contestant on “Super Singer”, an India based singing competition, said, “I am very happy I won this time round and for all the support people have shown me. I didn’t expect to gain recognition for singing in Singapore, and my family is very proud”.