“I love my city’s lively ways,
Warm sunny days,
Sights and sounds, special tastes that add up to this place,
I love my friends my closest ties,
Now I finally realise,
When it feels this right, you know that it’s love at first light.”
- Lyrics from 2012 National Parade Song
AUGUST — the month of patriotic zeal as the nation awash in a sea of red and white National flags flapping gaily outsides shops, buildings, houses, cars, etc. Out of curiosity, I had to look up images from our very first ND; had to contrast how far we have come as One People in this modern day Singapore.
[image via blogs.nlb.gov.sg] Singapore’s 1st National Day Parade in 1966
[image via geomancy] Raffles City in the 1960s. AIA building was the tallest building in SEA at that time? Wow, I didn’t know that!
[image via Photobucket] Singapore River by Clarke Quay in the 1960s. I wish we still had sampan boats like that. Instead now, the Singapore river is used to ferry tourist to view the sights and scenery along the river.
Made up of a diverse people comprising different races, religions and languages making up a melting-pot of varied perspectives; Singapore possess a unique culture, one of a common heritage and a shared identity. A nation built together through common ideals and indomitable spirit; we are united as one people, as Singaporeans… or at least that’s what I am told to believe. Happy birthday Dear Singapura!
This year’s theme for NDP calls for Singaporeans to reflect the meaning of their love for the nation as well as to give thanks to the finer things that make this island our home. Spending half my life away from Singapore, I took this time to rediscover and remember what I love best about my home – such as food, the multicultural society, and also the rapid progress of the nation. A great theme that I’m sure resonates with Singaporeans from all walks of life.
So I spent the day sinking my teeth into a wide variety of delectable kuehs, cookies and tarts celebrating my Peranakan roots, om nom nom nom! Had a refreshing swim and splash with a bunch of cheeky lil monkeys (Mischa, nieces and nephews) while the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter carrying the Singapore flag escorted by Apaches flew above us–oh, what an exhilarating sight that was!!
Flag of Singapore fly past the Marina Bay Sands in an iconic salute to Singapore’s independence.
[image via xin.msn] Majulla moment
[Image via ChannelNewsAsia/Lynette Phua] F15 and F16 fighter jets in a flypast of the Marina Bay Floating Platform.
[image via xin.msn] “1A dance during the pre-show by Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company ”
2012 marks 45 years of National Service (NS45); a national institution (the backbone of Singapore Armed Forces) that reflects and reinforces the spirit of loyalty and resilience of our nation. Generations of NSmen have served with pride and honor and NS45 reflects this multi-generational duty of Singaporeans to ensure the peace, security and progress for our nation.
[image via ndp.org.sg] Annual crowd-pleasers include the Presidential 21-Gun Salute (above) and the ‘Salute to the Nation’ move executed by eight Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) fighter aircraft.
This year’s parade was celebrated with traditional ceremonial delights such as the march and feu-de-joie, followed by the Majulla Moment (raising of the Flag Of Singapore) by our NSmen, the unique 21-gun salute by the Singapore Artillery, the Onward March to the stands, and the City Marchpast to Marina Bay Sands. In commemoration of NS45, a new drill was performed with aerial flypasts and performance by the Police Coast Guard and Naval Divers on boats, as a salute to NS45.
[imagie via xin.msn] “As part of the ‘Salute to NS45′ segment, four Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) kick start the sea display with high speed manoeuvres.”
[image via xin.msn] “2 F16D Fighting Falcons performing a shackle manoeuvre by crossing each other’s flight paths, displaying the skill of the RSAF pilots.”
[image via xin.msn] New marching elements this year
[image via xin.msn] Onward March; Closing the parade march. Usually executed by SAF and Home Team servicemen, this year it was executed by participants from 10 uniformed group contingents made up of our Secondary School students.
The celebration continues with a splendid show of Singapore’s greatest technological advances executed in the form of stunts and cinematic storytelling retelling Singapore’s history. My favorite part every year– the art performances that ‘celebrate life’ in our multicultural island nation; highlighting social cohesion as well as racial and religious harmony.
[image via xin.msn] Multi-ethnic performance. A dialogue between a tabla player, gambus player, a Chinese opera singer and a pianist performing side-by-side.
[image via xin.msn] Dragon boat display with rowers paddling en masse to a single drum beat, emerging from the Marina Bay waters collaborated with performers on stage forming a fiery lion’s head with flaming torches to symbolize the Singapore spirit.
[image via xin.msn
] “A perennial must-see at every National Day Parade, the fireworks take to the skies to close off the night in a riot of colours and patterns. With multiple vantage points across the Marina Bay area, it is a sight to behold as the nation closes off its birthday celebrations in a glitzy display of pomp and splendour.”
Though I wasn’t at the tallest spot in Singapore, I still got to watch the spectacular NDP fireworks from a friend’s 26th storey penthouse by Orchard. $5 million dollars worth of taxpayers money goes into this elaborate display of pyrotechnics which usually lasts for a total of approximately 20 minutes, why would I miss it?!