Sunday, August 16, 2009

National Day- The Pledge

Every year, the government tries very hard to drum up the patriotic factor around this period. When I start hearing 'national songs' on the radio, I know it's that time of the already. Somehow though, like Xmas celebrations, I get the impression that it seems to start earlier and earlier each year.

Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against all these celebrations and I'm rather proud to be a Singaporean but errr... singing patriotic songs and putting on national color clothes like a bit much for me lor.

I did put up the flag on National Day the insistence of my husband...who is not a Singaporean. But more of that later.

This year, the organisers had a brainwave-
Let's say the pledge together...where ever you may be, together with those thousands of people watching the parade. And say it at 8:22pm.

Hubby thought there was a significance to the time. Like maybe that's when MM Lee gave that momentous speech that Singapore was officially on it's own, or when Raffles stepped onto Singapore...anyway, something meaningful. He didn't believe me when I told he it's just to time it with the parade programme. Of course, the funny thing was, the pledge wasn't recited at 8:22pm at the parade. It's not just because my clock on my cable machine says so. The bells were chiming very loudly (signaling 8:22pm) but they were still singing away. Hmmm...maybe next year, if they want to do it properly, they should just give the cue for the bell to chime when the pledge reciting starts. Strange that nobody reported that the pledge did not start at exactly 8:22pm after all the hype.

Another curious fact.

They (ie, the government) want everyone to recite the pledge but many of us remember it? Let's face facts, most of us left school many light years ago and though I remember snippets of it, I honestly do not remember the whole thing. I'm getting old liao. Or maybe that shows I'm not very patriotic or Singaporean enough.


Anyway, my point was, why didn't they print/ post / recite out on radio/ the pledge for all so that those who really, really want to say it, can do so. There are so many media nowadays to do so- post on internet (maybe the P65 blog?) Twitter? Youtube? They can even print it in the newspapers, after all SPH earns huge profit every year, taking out a one page ad to place the pledge shouldn't be too draining on them. Hubby also received an sms from his hp provider reminding him to say the pledge. But to say it if you don't know it?

I just had a brainwave- they can print out into small flyer and put into the postboxes. Then everyone will sure have a copy of the pledge and will not have the excuse that they don't remember how to say it.

Or is it illegal to print out the pledge? Hmm....

Anyway, one of the reason I noticed so much more about National Day this year is because of my girl. In previous years, there are times when I do not even watch the parade (alright, alright, don't throw stones at me). I have been involved in it before when I was a student and I really, truely appreciate all the efforts put in by the various participants. Really, but......

However this year was a little different- I had my little girl.

I was quite keen for her to get a feel of it..even though she's really more interested in nursery rhymes than the National Anthem at the moment. I guess one feels differently when one has family.

And she being the product of 2 different cultures and 2 different races, I...We want her to experience and appreciate both sides. It was the reason why my husband actually dug out the Singapore flag and asked me to put it up.

Which now leads me to the next question on my...our minds. Yeah, yeah... I very 'cheem' tonight.

Singapore doesn't allow dual passports at the moment...but hubby's country does. If this doesn't change by the time she's 18, she will be forced by the SG government to make a decision. Now I know the government's reasoning was one should make a clear stand so that in times of conflict, one will know what to do.

Besides the fact that this so-call logic doesn't hold any water, it's like asking a child to decide if she wants to be with the father or the mother even though both the parents are happily married and together. She is being forced to accept one and reject the other. With so many inter-marriages nowadays (especially with the government actively encouraging foreign talents here), it's a matter of time before they have to decide on this issue.

Will it be done before she's 18? Well, there's 17 more years to go.

Baby M waving her flag. She likes red. ^^

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