Here I am in Singapore running from relentless personal bad news and doing a bit of reconnaisance for an incredible project I am about to begin in November. The migrant worker project I am embarking upon kicks off quite rightly here in Singapore. ….a country whose basis was migration. There are tens of thousands of migrant Bangladeshi construction workers here. They are involved in the making of the gleaming glass towers one sees all around here. Indeed Bangladeshi workers are responsible for gleaming towers all over the place - not just south east asia but also the middle east. Not that anyone associates the success of these places with those who toil to make these places so.

Migrant Voices Team

The Migrant Voices team

Singaporeans - or sections of Singaporeans- are waking upto the contributions that migrant workers make to their society. So it was a lovely suprise, when I came across a CD called Migrant Voices whilst I was walking in the Esplanade theatre complex. It is a CD of songs performed (and some written) by migrant workers and put together by volunteers. As the CD says, it

“brings together the musical talents of migrant workers who have put in their heart and soul to the growth of Singapore. They are work permit holders who cook for our families, care for our elderly, clean our streets and build our homes…..They leave behind families and deep kinship ties to work here, in hopes of providing a better life for their loved ones.” …The project grew out of the realization that many migrants turn to music as a release from their personal and work woes.

Don’t I know it.