[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, July 03, 2011

[First look at NDP11]
At every National Day Parade, the focus is usually on the main characters such as the Chairman EXCO, Parade Commander, Parade Regimental Sergeant Major and the key actors in the show segment. And not forgetting the widely anticipated singer of the theme song.

Having covered two parades (in 2007 and 2008), I will attempt to start my posts this year on another aspect of the people that make it happen.

Also since this year's NDP theme is Majulah! The Singapore Spirit, it is key to put a finger on what The Singapore Spirit is all about. If you have examined past NDP themes closely, you would find that they are usually based on the Prime Minister's National Day Rally (NDR) speech the previous year.

In PM's NDR speech last year, he posed a question on what The Singapore Spirit means. In essence, he feels that it is based on these spheres: shared elements, determination, competence and confidence.

"It is based on deeper things which we share, shared values like multiracialism or meritocracy or respect for every talent; shared loyalty and commitment to Singapore; shared responsibility for each other and pride in what we have done together; shared memories as well as dreams and aspirations. It is the determination that makes us press on when things are tough, like in the recession last year, the trust that keeps us together when forces try to pull us apart, like when we encountered extremist terrorism after 9/11. It is the competence and the quiet pride and discipline that make sure that things go right, like when we hosted the YOG. It is a confidence that we will prevail come what may. It is this spirit in each of us which makes Singapore work the way it does and which makes Singaporeans special."

To me, the Singapore Spirit is based on unity - how people from different backgrounds come together to attempt to create success.

The ushers who guide spectators to their seats

The motivators who add colour to the NDP experience

The people who toil behind the scenes


This area covers roles such as traffic control, drivers, food and beverage providers, liaison officers for performers, logistics support and not forgetting the audience that adds to the mood of the parade. The list goes on.

So whether you watch the parade from The Float@Marina Bay, at Merlion Park, SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, hotels and offices in the vicinity or on television at home, do think of these individuals and how they work together to define The Singapore Spirit.

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