This Malay Barber Gave Free Haircuts To Migrant Workers This Deepavali


Qistina Bumidin •  Oct 23, 2022

Our migrant workers have helped build our nation to where it is today and sacrificed tremendously. Many have left families behind in their own countries to make a living here - especially during this festive celebration of Deepavali, we can only imagine how hard it must be to be so far away from their loved ones ? This Malay-Muslim woman, however, decided to do her bit and keep the celebration spirit alive by giving them free haircuts! We spoke to Azlyn Ziy, a full-time barber for 2 years, who shared her heartwarming experiences ?

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1. What inspired you to do this event?

Credit: Courtesy of Azlyn Ziy

This was a small one-day event held at the migrant workers' dorms. We (her and the salon she works for, Doosh) reached out to Its Raining Raincoats for this opportunity ? Its Raining Raincoats is a local charity that integrates migrant workers and Singapore residents. I feel that it’s important because it allows us to get to know each other more. Not only does it benefit us mentally, but it benefits them, too - it helps them feel included here in Singapore! ?

2. Is this your first time being part of an event like this?

This is our second time! The first one was back in 2019 with another organisation ? We decided to just head over to one of their dormitories and stood there in the hot sun while trying to get them to be comfortable with us and get a haircut from us. Soon after, word of mouth spreads. and more workers started coming out of their dorms to get a haircut! That was heartwarming to see ?

3. What was your most memorable story to share from this experience?

Credit: Courtesy of Azlyn Ziy

A worker told me that he has been working in Singapore for a very long time, hasn't been back in a long time, and video calls home almost every day. And he misses his home, but he knows he needs to work for his family to survive. This reinforces that everyone should be treated the same despite their background, and everyone should be given a chance to get to know these workers - we don't know the sacrifices and struggles they've been through to come to Singapore and improve their living. Here's something else I found out about them - they're honestly very soft-spoken and very shy people ?

4. How did the workers react?

Credit: Courtesy of Azlyn Ziy

From their faces, they look very happy that they got a haircut from the foot of their dorm! ?

5. Will you do more of these events in the future?

Yes, of course, we do! If time permits, we plan to do it maybe once every two to three months. We already have home-based barbers who approached me and asked how they can do what we’re doing. It doesn’t have to be professional barbers per se, it can be anyone with a background in hairdressing. Anyone who went for hairstyling courses is more welcome to join ?

Check out Azlyn's video below!

@ohmyziy What happened last weekend? Haircut for migrant worker, prepping them for their festive season. Hope that they will have the best Deepavali ? #femalebarber#barber#dooshsg#haircut#fyp#tiktoksg??#foryoupage#singaporebarbershop♬ original sound - '??? '???????

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