It may have been published more than a week after the Little India riot, but a blog chronicling the experience of interviewing foreign workers in the wake of the Dec 9 incident sparked a wave of reaction online.

"Lessons in Little India", written by my colleague Charissa Yong and I, struck a chord particularly with Singaporeans who had experienced feelings of homesickness while living overseas.

The article had garnered more than 640 Facebook "likes" as of Friday. It detailed the things that foreign workers in Singapore missed the most about their home towns - traditional snacks, home-cooked meals and the voices and company of loved ones.

Little India, to these workers, was not just a place to hang out, but "a temporary portal to home", the article said.

Many netizens shared experiences of finding similar neighbourhoods or enclaves in a foreign land, which allowed them to experience a semblance of Singapore. 

As Mr Michael Sim explained on The Straits Times Facebook page: "No joke. (In the United States), Little Chinatown made me feel at home. To find tau huey in New York City was like... OHMYGAWD!"

Mr Kohar Santoso, another foreigner working in Singapore, felt that understanding the lives of these workers could be achieved only if one underwent a similar experience.

"Living alone in a foreign land is definitely not an easy thing to do - you understand only if you undergo it yourself," he wrote.

Netizen Indang Esa echoed Mr Santoso's sentiment, saying: "(We should) try to put ourselves in their shoes. Little India is what Geylang Serai is for the Malays and what Chinatown is for the Chinese."

Singaporeans Against Poverty, a campaign led by the charity arm of the Catholic Church, Caritas, re-posted the blog on its Facebook page on Thursday to encourage Singaporeans to get to know low-wage workers.

The group is running a "Beyond my comfort zone" challenge, and its Facebook post, which promoted the Singapolitics article, said: "In case you don't know how to approach a worker or what to say to them, we found a piece that is pretty relevant - these two reporters tell their first-hand accounts of doing it."

Netizens like Clifford Ng, while arguing that what constitutes "feeling at home" is different for different people, said tolerance was the key to easing tensions between local and foreign populations sharing the same space.

Several Singaporeans also called on fellow citizens to see foreign workers as equals, and rejected racist and xenophobic reactions to the riot in some quarters online.

Mr See Quincy wrote: "Why should we think that we are any different from those foreign workers?

"We are all humans alike. Please treat them just like our citizens here."

Indeed, perhaps understanding that these workers are individuals who, just like us, are brothers, fathers, sons, grandsons and cousins, and have their own families and loved ones - rather then strangers in our land - would go a long way in continuing to bridge the gap between "us" and "them".