Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sponsored Post: Reflections of the Singapore Spirit


Kkk..not THAT kind of “Reflections of the Singapore Spirit”, huh. *twiddles thumbs*

What, give me credit for creative interpretation can or not??? 

Right. Now that I have your attention, we can begin. 

I’ve been a Singaporean all my life, hey, I’ve even been a Singapore Girl, flying with our prestigious airline for 3 years before deciding to live life, grounded, on Singapore land again. Having been almost everywhere in the world, I’ve come to appreciate home even more. This is where I can get Thosai or Nasi Lemak at 3am in the middle of the night; walk wherever I please at any time of the day, along any dark alley, and still feel safe; have my childhood memories at this playground; learnt how to ride a bicycle (of course starting with training wheels) at the void deck; sang Majulah Singapura every morning/evening at the school carpark while watching the national flag rise/ know...this is where I grew up as a local. And I like it here. I really do.

Well, I stopped singing the national anthem after I left school, so I always somehow (secretly) look forward to singing the song every 9th August. Yup, during our National Day Parade. For some reason those few minutes every year never fail to bring tears to my eyes. Am I patriotic like that? Maybe. But it’s really during that moment that I feel our Singapore Spirit the strongest, where I feel that there’s something that bonds all Singaporeans, despite our diversities. 

I’ve had the privilege of experiencing first hand each ethnic group’s cultures up close while working on the Chinese, Malay and Tami dramas in the past 2 years, so I know how diverse we as Singaporeans are. Trust me, it’s not just the costume. 

And yet, come National Day, we will somehow all sing the same tune. Do you have any idea how comforting that makes me feel, as a Singaporean? =)

I’ve heard people say that Singaporeans are very bochup. Well, think of it this way, we don’t have a chance to show that we have that national spirit, that togetherness. No natural disaster, no warfare, no rioting. Just...plain, safe, Singapore. And seriously, that’s a good thing, though we’ll probably see that spirit more apparently when such affairs strike us (choi, pray not!). 

How many times have you felt defensive when other nationalities call Singapore names or Singaporeans “sinkers”. How many times have you felt offended when (ignorant) people go “Singapore...nice~ I’ve heard of it...Which part of China is that?” -.-” Yes, angry right? Why?

Because you feel Singapore deserves more credit being her own country, and that Singaporeans deserve our own identity to be respected, that’s why. Despite being so small it may not even have been placed on the world map - I really suspect the only reason it can be found on the map is because it is a COUNTRY. Had Singapore just been an island off another country, it may not even have been a dot on the map, and THAT, makes me so proud of being a Singaporean. Hey, 42km by 23km? And look at where we are placed in the world? 国小志气大!

Fight me if you don’t agree that we are the food capital of the world. Every imaginable food you can find elsewhere, be it Japanese, Arab, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, (and the list goes on), you will find it here on this little red dot. Ha! Nothing beats our local fare though. Hey, heard of our Hainanese Chicken Rice (that even Hainan doesn’t have)? Or our Chilli Crab? You get the picture.

Oh, we have one of THE BEST medical infrastructures in the world. Haven’t you heard? Famous people fly in to do operations all the time you know, the most recent being Tamil superstar Rajinikanth. Zimbabwe president has also flown in for a cancer check okay? 

Best airport in the world for many years. And the sixth busiest airport in the world. Bearing in mind our teeny-weeny size, tell me - how many of you do not feel a sense of pride every time you come back from overseas? Feel the Singapore spirit yet? No?

Economically, we are placed world’s 4th leading financial centre, and the world's 4th largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo. The World Bank ranks Singapore as the world's top logistics hub. WHOA~~~

Well? We don’t have oil, we don’t have gold, we don’t have whatever minerals large countries do, but what we DO have are smart people, and trust me, nothing makes this small little island richer. Hey, we didn’t use to have freshwater supply, but look what our people did! They found a way of converting seawater, that’s ALL AROUND THE ISLAND by the way, and sewage water, into cleaner-than-clean, fresh drinking water! What we lack, we make up for it with our smarts, and hey, that’s priceless. 

Proud of being a Singaporean yet? 

Okay, how about this - our very strong Singaporean language identity. We speak the same language, and understand each other in a way only fellow Singaporeans can. “Tak giu ji puay!”, “Teh see peng siew dai!”, “Teh Cino”, “Milo Dinosaur” and “Milo Godzilla” (Milo with one scoop of ice cream and loads of Milo powder on top) are lines every Singaporean can identify with at our local kopitiam. 

Tak Giu - Hokkien term for “kick ball”. This refers to 
Milo. See the association now?

Teh See Peng Siew Dai - iced milk tea with less sugar, less milk.

Teh-cino - Cappucino-style milk tea.

 Milo Dinosaur - Milo with Milo powder on top.

Milo Godzilla - Milo with a scoop of ice cream AND Milo powder on top.

Nowhere else can you order drinks with code phrases like the above. 

Our common spoken language, Singlish, is one which other nationalities will never be able to master.  “Siao liao lah, this time kena from boss jialat-jialat already” has Hokkien, English, Malay incorporated into one single sentence. Which other language beats that? We could combine more you know? And the duplication of words is a trait only seen in Singlish. Need examples? “We buddy-buddy one”, “this boy-boy very cute leh”, and “don’t play play hor”. See? And seriously, only another Singaporean can understand what you mean by “Oh yah hor!”, and can respond your “Orh~~~” with a “Orh orh orh...orh pi sai la!”

The Singapore Spirit, put simply, is a national togetherness. And we have that, in more ways than you thought you knew. Who say Singaporeans got no Singapore Spirit? Talk cock la!

Well, okay, those are MY views... what does the Singapore Spirit mean to you? Log on to the National Day website and share your thoughts. You'll also get to hear the new NDP theme song for this year. I find it kinda meaningful. There's something about National Day songs which never fails to overwhelm me. What, I very 爱国 one okay!

Oh! There's also a game on the NDP Facebook page which allows you to build Lion City (something like how you'd do in SimCity!). Can build attap houses and collect tax as income leh! *cheap thrill* Worth checking out. ;)

The Singapore Girl,


  1. Silver,

    Singapore may be resource poor.

    Singapore's wealth comes from its people.

    Educated, hard working, determined, savvy, smart to name a few of the things that has made SG a great place.

    Living on the other side of the Pacific I have followed SG news and the blog scene for some years.

    American televsion features SGs food scene, SG as a travel desitination. Daily SG is a source of financial news as SG markets influence world markets.

    If time and money someday permit I will visit SG.

    Be proud, be happy and value your freedom!


  2. David>>

    Please do visit soon! I'm sure you'll like Singapore as much as I do! ;)

  3. Nice photos on all those ethnic bajus.. :)
    Honestly u could easily earn some extra cash with that..

    Malaysian and Singaporean shares many similarity but I always have a big respect for Singaporeans for their patriotism and spirits!