University of Tasmania
This article analyses the controversy over the advertising of a dance party to be held in the former Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus and contextualises it with similar controversies which occurred concurrently - Taoist robes worn at a fashion parade, and posters put up by the Campus Crusade for Christ. The community and government reading of these events as instances of insensitivity to religious faiths tell us about the power of state ideology, and the conflation of religious and racial harmony; a salient reminder that, in Singapore, modernity is not the same as Westernisation. The cancellation of the Chapel Party demonstrates the privileging in Singapore of religious sensitivities so that religious harmony is understood as racial harmony. It also demonstrates that in a city of constant change, repurposing of a building does not always erase memories of its previous use.