Ahead of the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix, event organizers gathered a group of 10 religious leaders representing different faiths to bless the Formula One racing event and its drivers.
Swami Jitamansananda (Hinduism), Rabbi Mardoche Abergel (Judaism), Ervad Rustom M Ghadiali (Zoroastrianism), Ven. Shi Xiang Yang (Buddhism), Master Chung Kwang Tong (Taoism), Jayantilal Amarshi Govindji (Jainism), Rev. Haraneath Singh (Christianity), Aladad Khan Mulladad Khan (Islam), Gurmit Singh (Sikhism) and Kuek Yi Hsing (Baha’i faith) met at the Marina Bay Circuit to pray the event goes without a hitch.
Considering the event is mainly known for its nightlife and parties, the internet had a lot to say about the ritual:
Some weren’t too happy:
However, many commended it for promoting interfaith unity and harmony — something the world greatly needs right now.
There were also some queries:
And a whole lot of suggestions:
Since the health concerns over recent Zika outbreak has put both fans and participants on edge, many Facebook users hoped the religious leaders also prayed for eradication of the disease.
Colin Syn, the deputy chairperson of Singapore Grand Prix and the man who introduced the interfaith ceremony back in 2008, claims no other race circuit in the world has a religious practice on such an large scale.
“Safety is paramount and we want to pray for the security of all involved in the race, and also for good weather for sure,” he told Today Online in a 2013 interview.
Moreover, such ceremonies are not unheard of in the multicultural island state.
Last year, the members of Singapore's Inter Religious Organization rode the country's new underground train line, the Downtown Line 2, to bless it.
The three-day 2016 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix kicks off on Sept. 16.