10 August 2009

Weekend Musings

How did you spend your National Day holiday?

Did you go out of town for a short getaway? Go out partying til late at night, every night from Friday to Sunday? Spend some much needed time with the family?

For Intuition and I, this past National Day weekend was a great time to catch up with family members and friends. During the National Day evening, we wanted to meet some friends to play boardgames at our place, but one of them was super enthusiastic about catching the National Day Parade on TV and was recounting to us the highlights of his participation, when he nearly got tickets to the NDP, when he was part of the parade, when one of the high ranking officials stopped by him to comment on his uniform etc. When they had the cheesy medleys (full disclosure: i used to love those songs when I was in Primary school!), I frowned at the bad choice of techno-fying the songs while he crooned away happily.

Inevitably, when 8.22pm came around, he stood up and proudly placed his fist (somewhat) near his heart and recited the pledge. So did another girl in our midst =) And they proudly stood there singing Majulah Singapura while we whipped out handphones to capture the moment on video, threatening "youtube! i'm gonna youtube this! hahaha!"

Is it now cool to be anti-Singaporean? Patriotism is passe?

While the Singapore story is flogged to death in many many many articles from the Gahmen, it is a part of our history, like it or not. Too bad that it's so short that each recounting of history forces us to revisit the same ol' facts :P And of course, there's lots of things to be said about *cough* freedom of speech here, plus the ridiculous emphasis on profits and progress while neglecting our souls and character development, except when it's in line with National Interests. Need I mention the restrictive rules and regulations, the elitism, the cheesy song and dance put up during NDP & election period, and the suffocatingly strict atmosphere in general.

But is it all bad? Surely there are many good things about our country which we like to gloss over. It's honestly more fun to be critical, but hey, being thankful is good for the heart. What about walking along the streets late at night without fear of being mugged (mostly), being able to eat out anytime you want (a real boon, something you'll appreciate if you've stayed overseas for any length of time), and decent infrastructure and amenities? I love the parks available around town, i love the beautiful Southern Ridges and air conditioned public libraries. I like how it's easy to move around... assuming the MRT doesn't break down, the bus comes relatively on time, or if you have a car, preferably without ERP *cough*. I like the quirks of Singaporeans and our ability to laugh at ourselves, from using tissue paper to chope tables to our intelligible Singlish.

Mostly, I just love my friends and family based in Singapore.

Thanks for spending the weekend with me =) It's been wonderful. Have a great week ahead!

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