When my siblings and I were very young – my age was a single digit – we would count down to the minutes before the parade and wait in anticipation on little chairs in front of the television. As the live audience cheered and did the Kallang roar, so did we while waving our little flags filled with candy that rattled in the plastic staff.
Singing happily to the tunes of ‘We Are Singapore’, ‘Chan Mali Chan’, and ‘xiao ren wu de xin sheng’ led by celebrities and backed by the choir, it was our way of celebrating the nation’s birthday.
The funny thing was, right after all that singing, we would switch off the TV upon the appearance of the various contingents, what we called the ‘boring marching people’. Lol. We would estimate about 30 minutes, during which we would take a bath and prepare snacks for the next part of the show.
How we loved the ensuing performances! The group formations of the Singapore flag, lion head, national flower, and various shapes were wonderful to look at. The display of pyrotechnics and color and rhythm showcasing the four main cultures of Singapore brought the stage to life. How I wished I could don one of those flamboyant costumes and disco my way through the night!
Combined school choir in 2005 Source: MOE
We said our pledge and sang Majulah Singapore with pride, complete with straight posture and fist on the heart. It made us feel very part of the live audience at the all-round stage at the National Stadium.
When the skies grew dark, my siblings and I brought the ‘live’ mood into our home by switching off all the lights in the house and we swayed our torchlights and bodies to the rhythm of the songs, singing at the top of our voices.
We didn’t have the NDP goodies bags, as it was then called, so we invented our own. If you were born in the 80’s, you would recall the McDonald’s plastic lunchbox that came in either red or green. In mine I had a torchlight and a water bottle. Simple yet adequate for a night in. =)
The mood was revved up with the finale fireworks display – spurts of light that shot straight up into the black canvas, exploded into streaks of color, and faded into the darkness like drizzling gold coins.
Ah, such happy childhood memories of the National Day Parade!
It was many years later that I finally got to be a live audience at the National Stadium. If you’ve been at the live National Day celebrations, you’d know just how different the mood was!
Sitting beside strangers checking out their goodie bags, some lapping up dinner of oily KFC and Pizza Hut food sold at makeshift stalls at the entrances, some taking photos with film cameras that went ‘CHEE-Keeeee’, some fanning themselves with cardboard paper, and others just feeling awesome and grateful to be part of the live audience – like me; the feeling was just indescribable!
I was on a constant high throughout the show, and I even learnt to appreciate the significance and solemnness of the military contingents segment – the people who defend the place we call home.
Check this out! HAHAHA!
I was 16 and had a flag and fireworks on my cheek, the theme logo sticker on my forehead, and another flag on my neck. Somebody give me an award for Absolute Patriotism.
Please continue reading the rest of this post to see updated pictures of me and don’t ask what was the thing I mosaiced. Thankyouverymuch. LOL.
Alas, gone are the days where we could queue to get tickets for the parade. As I mentioned in a previous post on how I got to be a live audience for so many years, my luck stopped the moment ticketing went online. Boo. I would love to queue! Qiuqiu and I can go queue together. But we’ve got to move with the times. Logistics was a headache and people are busier these days…
9 August was THE DAY for all Singaporeans to come together and celebrate the nation’s birthday.
Why did I highlight ‘THE DAY’?
Because this year, we don’t have to wait till THE DAY, 9 August 2012, to express our love for our homeland! I hear ‘WHAT? Express our LOVE?? We are Asian!’.
Okie, participate. Participate can?
While we don’t tell our family and friends ‘I love you guys so much, you are everything to me, I cannot live without you’ on a daily basis, we show our love and concern through actions. And actions speak louder than words!
You probably don’t fancy going round yelling into people’s faces ‘I LOVE SINGAPORE!!!’. Nah, it probably isn’t our style. What we can do is participate in the NDP activities! And I tell you, the activities are so much fun this year!
The NDP committee brainstorms for a new theme for the National Day Parade every year, but this year is VERY different! It will no longer be just a parade, but an ongoing string of activities hosted nation-wide which started way back in March 2012! Many of these activities are completely new! Check them out here!
This year’s theme is ‘LovingSG: Our Home’, and the activities were created to evoke emotions and memories of what we love about our country. We may not say it, but we can show it; we may not be able to express it in words, but we can represent it with acts of love.
Official NDP 2012 website: http://www.ndp.org.sg/
Instagram Photo Competition
For instance, there’s an Instagram competition for people to upload their Instagram photos and stand to win prizes such as Tablet PC, Smartphone, Movie Vouchers as well as other goodies! Every two weeks a new theme will surface for variation. By the time you read this, it should be Instagram #4 – My Favorite Hangout.
#1 – My favorite spot at home (24 March – 8 April)
#2 – My favorite pastime (23 April – 7 May)
#3 – My favorite person (19 May – 3 June)
#4 – My favorite hangout (16 June – 1 July)
#5 – My favorite local food (14 July – 29 July)
Remember to tag them with #sgigNDPfavHANGOUT.
I just joined Instagram! Find me with bunbunmakeuptips. Had to pink that out.
Where is my favorite hangout? It’s got to be home, as in, inside my house. But if we had to be really strict with wording, with ‘hangout’ meaning a place you chill outside of the house, I’d say… probably… Sephora? I can spend 3 hours just walking round and round in the confined space of Ion Orchard Sephora. Lol. What?! I’m a beauty blogger!
Which is probably why, if you love to stay OUT of the house, you will be enthralled with the next activity, the LovingSG Trail! It’s like The Amazing Race! With 4 different themed trails spanning over 3 months, you get to re-discover Singapore and all the things you love about it by taking pictures of yourself and the logo to unlock clues! Simply download the ‘NDPOnTheGo’ mobile app and start your adventure! It’s free and you stand to win attractive prizes just by participating!
Building A LovingSG Project
And while you’re out going click-crazy with Instagram and the LovingSG Trail, drop by the travelling National Day roadshows at Funan DigitaLife Mall, Tampines Mall, Bugis Junction and JCube from 7 July to 12 August 2012 to check out the made-to-scale model of the Marina Bay Floating Platform.
If you pay a small token amount of $5, you’ll receive a pair of LEGO mini figurines – one placed on the platform replica and another as keepsake! All proceeds will go towards the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund. It’ll be fun to try and spot your own Lego figurine on the scale replica platform!
I personally think this is a very meaningful project – you get to participate in NDP, be there at the Floating Platform (with your Lego figurine representation), and show your love and care for the underprivileged.
Don’t blame us for our boring outfits! Haha! Options were limited when they first started and this starry singlet was the best they had.
LovingSG: One Heart, One Voice
The highlight of all these activities has got to be the Virtual Choir! It’s Singapore’s FIRST EVER virtual choir. It’s a simple idea: a compilation of many people singing one song together at the same time, like a choir, only that everybody has their own screen space.
Conducted by Darrell Ang, Young Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and put together by filmmaker Royston Tan who directed the movie 881, the first Singapore virtual choir will perform the one song we all know – Majulah Singapura.
To get a better idea of how a really good virtual choir looks and sounds like, check out Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir.
This must be how Heaven sounds like.
You don’t have to be beat or pitch-perfect, as long as you can move your mouth to the lyrics and look straight into the camera, you can be a part of the choir! Don’t worry about zao sia-ing! LOL!
Simply sing along to the karaoke version of Majulah Singapura and start recording. Super easy! Click here for the karaoke version and recording tips.
The last day to submit your video is 8 July 2012, so HURRY! The grand virtual choir will be revealed on National Day, 9 August 2012!
You can head down to the next roadshows where the LovingSG: One Heart, One Voice recording booths will be placed.
- Jurong Point Shopping Centre 30 June to 1 July 2012
- Causeway Point Shopping Centre 7 – 8 July 2012
I’ve tried it at the second media brief and it’s audible from outside the booth. So if you are a bathroom soprano but are paiseh to let strangers hear you belt the high notes of Majulah Singapura, do it in the comfort of home. Don’t even have to leave the house to be part of NDP 2012! Very good for zhai(2) people! WOOHOO!!
But if you buay paiseh, by all means do it at the roadshow!
Here’s me getting ready for the camera to start rolling heh heh…
Want to hear me sing?
New NDP Segments!
Bringing back popular displays such as the combined school choir (last performed in 2012) and SYF best secondary school display band (last performed in 2006), will bring back many fond memories for many people. I played the clarinet in my secondary school band, ours was a symphonic band meaning no marching, but I did love watching the marching bands and wished we had fancy marching formations too. That’s why I watched the movie Drumline like 5 times.
This year’s celebrations also include a ‘Commitment to Defence March’, a visual representation of national servicemen responding to their call of duty, in which 140 of them will march out from the spectators area to converge with other marching contingents on the stage.
Like this. LOL!
Another new segment is the NS45, a salute to 45 years of national servicemen who have sacrificed for the nation. My dad graduated from NS many years ago, the cut off age being 40.
But last year and this year, both my brothers enlisted into the Singapore Armed Forces. And they made us all very proud. =)
Where To Find NDP 2012 Information
The official NDP 2012 website (http://www.ndp.org.sg/) has all the information you need on the various activities.
The LovingSG website provides a one-stop platform for the integration of all social media initiatives. Social media, or new media, brings everyone closer, and the NDPeeps Facebook Page is the place to get updates and see behind-the-scenes photos. Everybody loves behind-the-scenes! Check out NDP Twitter feeds and YouTube Videos while you’re there too!
This year is the fifth time National Day Parade is held at Marina Bay Floating Platform and I FINALLY get to be a live audience, all thanks to Bun Bun Makeup Tips and Nuffnang!
I’m SO excited about NDP 2012. Firstly, because I am part of it. Attending all the media events let me have a glimpse of how much planning and effort goes into planning this annual big-scale event; secondly, because it is an immense honor to be part of NDP, and thirdly, because I really like how this year’s committee is embracing social media and ramping up efforts to encourage Singaporeans from all walks of life to share what they hold dear to their hearts.
Fellow bloggers brought together for this mega event of the year!
Recap of events you can participate in:
- Instagram Photo Competition
- LovingSG Trails
- Loving SG Lego Charity Project
- LovingSG One Heart, One Voice (last day of submission 8 July 2012)
Quickly go take a video of yourself singing the national anthem!
Be part of the FIRST Singapore virtual choir! My family, friends, and I have all submitted; I look forward to seeing yours on the virtual choir! Let’s sing our hearts out for the love of Singapore!