Thanks to the efforts of the Singapore Students Society at the University of Melbourne, together with counterparts at RMIT, University of Monash (Caulfield & Clayton), more than 500 Singaporeans and friends of Singapore had the chance to celebrate our country’s 44th birthday tonight. Held at the Sidney Myer Asia Centre at the University of Melbourne (along Swanston Street), the party was a great way to rekindle passions and emotions in one’s homeland.
While I haven’t been away from Singapore that long (my last trip back was in mid July 2009), I still feel the pains of homesickness occasionally creeping up on me (especially since my family is there). Which was why I think that its a great idea to have celebrations of Singapore’s birthday in cities with significant numbers of Singaporeans. Special thanks must go to Wan Hua who helped made this gathering possible.
No prizes for guessing what this ticket to the event resembles! I thought it was a great stroke of creativity.
Before we could go in, we had to queue up in the usual Singaporean style while the reception registered us. Lines, complete with arrows, were drawn for people to walk along them. How typical!
…and a large screen playing the music videos of past and present National Day songs. My favourite is still Home by Kit Chan (which never fails to move me). What’s yours?
The food (glorious food!) for that night consisted of Singaporean favourites like chicken rice, beef rendang, friend kway teow, curry puffs and spring rolls. There were also some custard like desserts and bandung drinks.
The first thing which we collected at the end of the queue were the two goodie bags. The blue one came from Contact Singapore and the Overseas Singaporean Unit. The green one (which came in four shades apparently of light green, purple, pink and dark green) was the actual one distributed at the NDP itself!
Here’s the contents of the goodie bag, which came with a flag, waving hand, glowing heart, postcards and lots of discount coupons. Unfortunately, we can’t use most of them as we won’t be going back to Singapore that soon. Sob!
The highlight of the evening was the sayign of the pledge and the singing of the National Anthem, at 8.22 pm Singapore time (which was 10.22 pm Melbourne time).