SOCIAL activist Greta Georges is on a mission.
The 27-year-old is intent on bringing back World Harmony Day (WHD), a social mass-gathering event that brings together people in support of world harmony.
Ms Georges co-founded the event with her 53-year-old property- agent mother, Ms Sunflower Chong, in 2002. Then, 300 people turned up to observe two minutes of silence - one minute in support of world peace and another minute for peace within themselves.
WHD had five runs, with later events including performances from local bands and poets.
In 2005, it hit a record attendance level, with 2,500 people at the Youth Park. It then went on a two-year hiatus, with its last event held online two years ago.
Ms Georges has since left her job as a news producer, with the intention of exploring other interests.
One of them is the revival of WHD, which has been tentatively scheduled for February next year.
She is in talks with Botanic Gardens to use its Symphony Stage as the venue, adding that the place has an organic, peaceful feel to it that would suit the event.
The Institute of Public Relations graduate - who is a poet and a film-maker, and who is part-Lebanese - intends to invite "young changemakers who have impacted the community", religious groups and local bands to join in the festivities.
my paper managed to catch the social-minded lass at Botanic Gardens to speak to her on her passions in life.
In a nutshell, what have you done in life so far?
I modelled for two years when I was 16. At 18, I went into full-time show hosting for about eight years.
At age 24, I joined WKRZ 91.3FM for 11/2 years. One of my proudest achievements stemmed from that time, when I made a radio documentary about a non-governmental organisation's efforts in Bandar Aceh, a year after the tsunami struck.
I later landed a one-year freelance stint with the BBC Radio World Service in London. Then, I returned to Singapore and worked for a year at Channel NewsAsia.
You have done a lot for someone your age. Who do you attribute your sense of adventure to?
My mum, who raised my brother and me singlehandedly. She's a champion of living your dreams, and for what you want to create in your life.
Why is World Harmony Day important to you?
We started it in the days after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. It was a chance for people to come together and celebrate humanity.
It brought people from all races, religions and walks of life together.
In my family, my mother, brother and I are of different religions, yet we co-exist peacefully.
Our family is a mini-World Harmony Day gathering. We don't impose our views on each other, and I think part of the vision for WHD is just that.
You know how to windsurf, rock climb and scuba dive. What's the latest sport you've picked up?
I started Bikram yoga classes in April. For 11/2 hours, you're in an unbearably-hot room doing 26 balancing and floor Hatha yoga postures. At the end of it, you feel rejuvenated and want to go back for more.
It's teaching me a lot about life. For example, failing in a posture is kind of like failing in life. What's the worst that could happen? You fall, and you get up again.
What are some of your indulgences?
I indulge in randomness. I like dancing and clubbing. I enjoy the guilty pleasures of singing cheesy songs loudly, or changing the lyrics of Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry to "No Greta, you die". It's silly, but it makes me happy.
What is perfect balance to you?
Perfect balance is learning to deal graciously with life's challenges.
That means learning to see inevitable hardship as a positive force, and learning how to use that in a positive way.
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