Each year, we celebrate with pride and much gratitude our growth as a nation. At 57 this year, we had our National Day Parade live after 2 years and “Connections,” a short film highlighting resilience and solidarity was interwoven with the performances on The Float @ Marina Bay.
“Connections” featured small acts of kindness that enabled us to weather the pandemic and stories inspired by medical workers, home care professionals, teachers, social workers, and artists were showcased to depict family, community, and togetherness. All of us at Beyond beamed with pride as our members Riduwan, Norashidah, Akilah, Nursoleha and colleague Joanne were acknowledged as social workers and volunteers who reached out to the vulnerable.
The children at our Healthy Start Centre had their own “parade” albeit, at a much smaller scale but no less meaningful. After a hearty rendition of the National Anthem and a whole-hearted recitation of the pledge, the children jumped into the great Singapore workout to the tune of local folk songs remixed with a dance beat. With the children singing along, Singapore Town, Chan Mali Chan and Singapura sounded so fresh and the Singapore workout so inviting.
It was a morning of all things Singapore as the children went on a “tour” around places of interest such as the Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion Park, the Singapore Botanical Gardens – our own UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Zoological Gardens, a hawker centre, and a government housing estate. At each site, they expressed what the surroundings were like and acted out what they would be doing if they were there. It was a joy seeing how much fun the children were having by simply applying their imagination. When they got to the Marina Bay Sands, they figured that it would be inappropriate to run around and so by working together, they created a human sculpture of what the building looked like. And of course, there was the parade with marching, songs and the Singapore cheer delivered loudly.
Facilitating activities that are of interest to the children is good practice when drawing out a lesson plan and National Day was definitely one area of interest that provided the opportunity for children to appreciate their identity, strengthen their sense of belonging and to start thinking what it means to be responsible one’s family, community and nation. The concept of being a responsible citizen is probably way too complex for these children, but we say that we are a strong country when we can care for each other as good friends would.
For democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality,