Happy Birthday Singapore!!
We’ve just had the biggest party for our entire nation, and I actually sat through an entire parade without switching off during the dancing bits! It was a wonderful parade and although it does feel a little like the down from the high of an amazing party, we are all still going around humming the National Day songs, and we still have plenty of SG50 activities to keep us going for a while right? Ok I know some of you and myself included are thinking that some of the SG50 initiatives are a little OTT, but as a friend of mine put it so well – when I turn 50 I want to be able to be as OTT as I want to be! Can’t argue with that 😉
When I sat down to think about what Singapore means to me, I wasn’t sure what to write. There are so many elements to it, that I found it hard to put into words. But then again, do I really need to? It means so many things to different people – for us Singaporeans, it could the comfort of food, or it could be the many friends and relatives that we have; the childhood memories of the places we know and enjoyed, etc. For some foreigners it could be the clean water available (you really give this little thought, but even in Delhi you can’t even be sure when you have a drink with ice!), the relative safety when you go out alone or at night.
I make it no secret that I love my country and my people. I think it has less to do with having had the opportunity to live abroad or travel to many destinations for work or leisure, than deciding that home is where your heart is, and my heart belongs where my friends, family, and people are. Sure, Singapore isn’t the perfect place, but pray tell, where is? There is no other place I would as proud to call my country, and if you don’t love it, if you are loathe it, we are more than happy for you to find somewhere else you might be happier in. Just don’t stick around and drag everyone down with selfishness and complaints, please, most of us parents get enough toddler behaviour at home.
This year, things seem a little different. Our people have been overcome with gratefulness, thankfulness and respect, and I hope that more people will be spurred to action. I love that we as Singaporeans can be agents of change, even if it is in a tiny way. I’m not sure how many people realize that this isn’t so easily achieved in many countries? In places where authorities are too busy on the take to listen, or where social mobility and education aren’t for the masses? We can do more than just complain, and we can put our talents to good use instead of bringing others down. There is only so much that policies, tax incentives and governments can do. As parents, we and our children are responsible for our own future. If you haven’t already, do read Chua Mui Hoong’s recent ST Editorial article entitled “In moments of need, there’s just us” in which she wrote about several recent incidents which showed Singaporeans rising to the occasion as a collective, demonstrating that we are responsible for making our own change. How inspiring!
In part, the responsibility I feel towards my country is also the reason I blog. On my little tiny soap box, if I am able to make a difference to just one life, to have some kind of positive impact, I am happy. I don’t profess to know it all, neither am I Little Miss Sunshine. I am but just an ordinary mum who is trying to be the best mum she can to her kids. This is my way of serving the country and trying to make it a better place, including trying to change the things I can, of course.
What does Singapore mean to me? It’s not just my home. It means enough for me to mean it when I sing “count on me to do my best, and more“.
But of course, I can’t do it alone. “Together, Singapore, Singapore!”
I wrote this post as part of FinallyMama’s What Singapore Means to Me blog train. Hop on over to see what other mothers have to say about what Singapore means to them!
Next on the blog train is Mummy Natty.
Natasha is mum to 2 boisterous little boys and enjoys documenting her motherhood moments and milestones mainly through photos. She believes in embracing spontaneity when it comes to parenting and tries to create as many little adventures and different experiences for her family to bond over as much as possible.