What Singapore’s National Day Means To Me – By Expat Andrea McKenna

01 August 2019

By Finger blogger: Andrea McKenna

Singapore is only six years older than me! It’s been 52 years since Singapore became its own country. As we expats can attest, it’s an amazing country built from an equatorial jungle into a world-class, modern city with low crime, social harmony as well as economic success.

And we love it here, and are so thankful for how the founders and pioneers built this place.

I get super emotional when I watch the video of the annual Singapore songs, which get a new makeover every year. This year, it’s “Because It’s Singapore!” with music by Lee Wei Song and lyrics by Jay Lim Step.

We can relate, as we’ve really thrived here as a family and every year we feel a little bit more a part of this society.

I’ve been here for nearly six years, and while I still maintain my American patriotism, I’m happy to be part of this country’s annual national celebrations. I’ve bought our red Singapore shirts, and got our little plastic red and white Singapore flags ready to carry around. Oh, and our condo balcony sports a large Singapore flag.

The preparations are part of our summers here in Singapore. I live on East Coast Park and have been watching for years the lead-up to each year’s National Day Parade (NDP), with fighter planes flying overhead and huge helicopters carrying the giant Singapore flag around the city, as well as the smoke trails of the parachuters who land on The Float during the ceremonies.

Of course, you can’t forget the weekly fireworks rehearsals, which no one outside Singapore believes happen EVERY week for several weeks before the actual event. (“You have a lot of fireworks…and this is PRACTICE?”)

The NDP theme for this year is “One Nation Together”. The show features a demonstration of Singapore’s national defences (air force, army etc.) as well as six acts of life in this island nation, including performances representing living together, progressing together and growing together, among others.

I’m looking forward to celebrating another great year on the Little Red Dot. This is the place where I reinvented my life as a new mother, a writer, a yoga teacher and as a wife and friend to my husband who moved here to run a financial services business on what was initially only a one-year contract.

Now, this is home.

About Andrea McKenna

Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.

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