Sunday, July 22, 2007

Talking about National Day, What's National Day?

Do Singaporeans know what is National Day all about, Why we celebrate National Day, What's the importance of celebrating it and how did National Day come about?

I did a survey from my family members.

My younger brother, Shaun, went to the NDP preview on Saturday. I guessed before watching the preview, "Patriotic" was the last word that came up to his mind.

So we went to fetch him after that. I asked him whether the show was nice.

This is what he replied me: "Nice! Wah, the fireworks all very fun leh. I thought boring one."

Alright, what can you expect from a 11 year old kid?

So I asked him, " I thought you dont' like Singapore? I thought u like America, HUR?"

He gave me a stupid wide smile.

So from what I infer, National Day is a pro-National propaganda whereby it influences people's perspective and opinions of Singapore.

Well Done. Great Effort.

So I continued to ask my Dad about what he feels for this upcoming National Day.

"Aiya, every year the same, what more can u see and expect? Fireworks, Singapore Flag, Singapore Song. No creativity at all la"

So I continued to ask him why do we celebrate National Day.

"I dont' know why we celebrate also. To let Singaporeans know their roots or just to celerate to create some atmosphere?"

So this is the answer you can get from a 50 year old man. Yes, my dad is 50+ years old.

More Direct. Excellent, Perfecto.

So I asked my Mom, She gave me a short answer.

"I dont' know la, eh on National Day where we go out to dine? Merchant Court, Mariott Hotel? I think all fully booked leh."

This is the Superficial interviewee. So now I know Singaporeans connect National Day to dining out/food.

As for my Sis, her answer was the most direct.

"Dont' ask me stupid questions. I was never interested in all these."

2 x Combo Hit.

I was totally speechless.

Though just these few surveys cant judge how people think of National Day, But as you can see, most Singaporeans have no idea why they celebrate National Day for. What's most, they dont seem to comprehend the importance of celebrating National Day.

Seriously, I have no idea either. Honestly speaking, 'm not A patriotic person, to be true.

Beyond this sentence, you may choose not to read or choose not to even look at it. But it's all for the sake of reference.

This year's National Day song has lost focus on what it means to be truly Singaporean

BEHIND the defence of puerile na├»¿½vete, I can honestly admit that, as a child, I looked forward fervently to the annual National Day celebrations for all the wrong reasons: the fireworks displays, the parades, and the fact that National Day was a public holiday - meaning an awesome day without the then-considered burden of school.

With the maturity that accompanied the initial years of my adolescence, I came to understand that beyond the displays of fireworks and parades underlie culture, and a powerful representation of a growing national identity, extending to the global scene, in which Singapore has become synonymous with excellence. The country has witnessed spectacular achievements both locally and internationally, about which we, as a people, certainly must be very proud.

With a fever not unlike that which I experienced in childhood, an adrenaline rush still fills me when I anticipate the coming of another year's National Day Celebrations; and that the local channels have begun playing this year's National Day songs can only mean that the celebrations are around the corner.

National Day songs have always been a highlight of the celebrations, a medium to spread the importance of national cohesion, and foster a stronger national identity, a sense of pride. While Kit Chan's rendition of There's No Place I'd Rather Be is nothing short of stellar, the same cannot be said about its lyrics.

Disappointingly enough, this year's song differs too greatly from its predecessors, sorely lacking the buzz of Singaporean pride that usually embodies our National Day songs. Brilliant as Jimmy Ye is musically, his excessive referencing of global landmarks has resulted in his song becoming too generic: the song has lost its focus on what it means to be truly Singaporean - a sentiment that is shared among many of my peers.

A friend even joked that this song could be adopted as any other country's National Day song because of its casual applicability, and the absence of national ownership; there is absolutely no mention of 'Singapore' in it.

By Benjamin Lim Woon Kwee


Importance of National Day

Launch of National Education

2.The importance of National Education was highlighted by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong at the Teachers' Day Rally on 8 Sep 96. Prime Minister Goh pointed out that "National Education must be a vital component of our education process…. It is an exercise to develop instincts that become part of the psyche of every child. It must engender a shared sense of nationhood, an understanding of how our past is relevant to our present and future. It must appeal to both heart and mind."


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