I Heart Singapore!

Every so often, I’m a closet patriot. I’d more readily jump on the bandwagon to criticise Singapore than to vehemently state what I feel about my motherland. And I think this is a pretty darn great place to call home.

So this year, with the inauguration of the Youth Olympics Games close on the heels of Singapore’s 45th National Day Parade, it’s an unprecedented opportunity to hold five stars and be over the crescent moon with pride!

My nationalistic high began with the 4th full-dress rehearsal of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games on 7 Aug, heightened by the spirit of unity at the Kaki Bukit NDP celebrations the next day, and climaxed like the NDP fireworks I could see from my room on 9 Aug 2010. I even carried Joy and Rainbow to see the dazzling sparks though they were more interested in the booming sounds than the atmospheric bling.

Lyo and Merly

I was pretty slow to catch the SYOG fever. Maybe because I have a natural immune system against sports. I think most Singaporeans possess this immunity because I hardly felt any excitement in the air regarding this historic occurrence. This is the FIRST TIME the Youth Olympics is ever held and Singapore is its birth place! Surely this once in a lifetime honour is worth blowing our horns about?

Perhaps when the youth edition comes of age like its big brother, The Olympics, and sister, The Winter Olympics, a world event like this will finally receive the fanfare it deserves at its host countries. Just as the first recorded Games held at Olympia, Greece in 776 BCE had only one event – a 192 meters sprint, and the later revival of the Games in 1896 had the commitment of only nine countries, the YOG may need to go through a long puberty before gaining the muscle power needed to move people.

Put your hands up in the air!

On hindsight, I am mightily glad I attended the rehearsal of the SYOG Opening Ceremony. Even though it was just a rehearsal, I was pretty wowed by it. I’m sure the actual show is going to be even more awesome. Then again, I could have been easily impressed because I don’t attend much of outdoor parades or clocked enough ‘live’ show mileage. But well, I was pretty impressed by the show and the animation of Lyo and Merly, the SYOG mascots inspired by our national icon the Merlion, was rather unexpected of stiff-shirted Singapore. I didn’t think much about the mascots before, but I heart them now!

The SYOG Organising Committee had requested that no photos be posted about the show so I shan’t spoil the surprises here. But I will say this, it’s a visual feast! The show weaved various elements and media together to tell the story of Singapore aplomb with pop culture… something the youth, and the young at heart (like me!) can appreciate and enjoy.

Spectacular show

To commemorate the historical significance of the SYOG, I got my hands on a pair of the DBS Visa Prepaid cards, Mascots Edition. It acts like a store-value card where I can load in a certain amount and use it to pay for purchases anywhere. What a great way to control my finances! And it’s convenient too, just a tap to pay my bills. Guess card-tapping would be my Olympic sport!

These cards specially designed for the SYOG also doubles as an ez-link card. However, it seems such a waste to use these beautiful cards. Think I’ll keep them for the purpose of collection and who knows, maybe it’s value will appreciate in the future! Ka-ching!

Each card costs S$28.00, but a set goes for S$50.00. You can get them online or at any POSB/DBS branches.

A great way to commemorate SYOG

Still fresh from the SYOG Opening Ceremony rehearsal, I attended the Kaki Bukit National Day community celebrations event as a designated ‘photographer’! Sounds so pro hor?

Actually, I have no idea what I signed up for. Siow Har asked me to accompany her to take part in the photography of the event and so I went along. Again, on hindsight, I’m glad I did. Not only did I learn by observing how the seasoned photographers take their shots at an event like this, I learnt to appreciate the racial harmony that makes Singapore so fantastic.

National Day 2010 celebrations at Kaki Bukit

It was really amazing to be surrounded by so many people who love Singapore. Children, adults, teensters, senior folks… all of them waving the national flag, wearing white and red, placing their right hand across their chest while reciting the national pledge… it filled me with many goose-pimples moments.

The most memorable incident for me during the carnival was these two kindergarten schoolgirls. One was Indian, the other Chinese. A group of the children were huddled together at a corner while waiting for the guest-of-honour, Dr. Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, to arrive.

More dreams ahead

It was a terribly hot day and despite the efforts by teachers and parents to keep the group cool, the children were dripping. And there were these two girls taking turns to fan each other with a piece of thin cardboard. This went on for a while. Them fanning each other. It was so heartwarming. Then one of them took the cardboard, tore it into half and shared. They started to fan themselves but occasionally, still fanned each other.

Truly, those two kids exemplified what the Singapore spirit is about – selfless care and concern for each other regardless of background and colour. We’ve spent 45 years to get here. May we continue to grow in cohesion and together, achieve greater things to come. Create our dreams!

Singapore pledges

Unity in diversity

A caring nation

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeromz
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 02:49:40

    i want the cards.. so cute! i wanna keep~~

    Reply

  2. jeromz
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 02:49:40

    i want the cards.. so cute! i wanna keep~~

    Reply

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