Wednesday, August 02, 2006

National Tribute

National Day is coming. In a week's time in fact at the date of this entry. This will be my first National Day that I will spent away from the 'soil on my face is our soil' poster and the tiny island itself. Every National Day, I will put aside differences,(namely SAF, PAP and Humid Weather) to display my flag proudly and if possible attend the parade itself. Even if I don't attend, I will stay faithfully by my TV to watch the live telecast of the parade. Never mind that every year, the parade sequence is the same, I feel patriotic nonetheless.

When the fireworks shoot into the pitch dark sky(the only occasion Singapore allows fireworks) and the National Day songs start churning out, I clench my fist and place it across my chest and sing them with gusto. Tears well up in my eyes as the tune of 'one people, one nation, one Singapore' come up.

This year, it will be entirely different. In a land quite far away from my motherland, August 9 will be a non-event here. At least for the non-Singaporeans. There will not be Gurmit Singh prancing around in funny shorts or Tanya Chua belting away patriotic hymns. But my friends here and I are determined to make this August 9 here in Australia a one to remember.

It is ironic that only when you leave the country do you feel more patriotic about it. But I guess it is human nature. Singapore is a sense of identity here for me. Everywhere I go, I proudly tell people that I am from Singapore. I certainly do not hide my nationality and during tutorials when the tutors ask us to introduce ourselves, I will definately mention that I am from Singapore.

Never mind that most people still think that Singapore is in China. I am proud of the little red dot and even more when I am here in Australia. Our accent is distinct. Our behaviour is unique and the quizzical look on the caucasian face when you finish your sentence of with a lah is priceless.

Singaporeans don't always feel proud of their country here. They disguise their accents, they pretend to adopt the ang moh accent and they prefer hanging out with caucasian folks with the complete snub of their own countrymen. I mean yes, by all means try to assimilate into the culture and get to know more people of different nationalities. However, if you go to the extent of ignoring your own fellow Singaporeans then I feel that is a tad too extreme.

Nevertheless, come this August 9, if you are in Singapore fly the flag high and sing the National anthemn with gusto. Because a few thousand miles away, there is a group of Singaporeans doing the exact same thing with pride and honour.

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