Happy Birthday Singapore!
But is it still home to me?
Singapore marks 50 years of total independence today and a massive celebration is in place, with parades, marches, free public transportation all day, free movies for days…!
The Brits left in 1959 but it wasn’t until 1965 that Lee Kuan Yew gave that heartfelt and teary speech telling the nation why we had to leave Malaysia and branch out on our own.
Some of you may know that Lee Kuan Yew died only a few months ago; how proud he would have been today because it’s one hell of a celebration. A small island with no natural resources, today it is one of the wealthiest nations in the world! Not to mention one of the most expensive!
The picture above is from the last rehearsal a couple of days ago, featuring the Ministry of Education contingent and that tallest chap (the right marker), is my big bro.
Times like these always creates a sense of confusion and perhaps loss for me. Where is home?
When we (the UK) celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee, I didn’t feel it, I didn’t get it. But is that more because I thought it utterly WRONG to spend all that money when our country could ill afford to do so, than anything else, than my indifferent feelings towards the royal family?
Let’s consider it this way. I am a huge sports fan, if you don’t know that already and I will always support the English football team, the English cricket team, the English rugby team, etc, erm, even if I will always pick Djokovic over Murray! Does that perhaps then answer my own question? Maybe there isn’t a straight answer. Maybe it’s a bit of both.
Perhaps I ought to just look on the bright side and enjoy the best of two very different worlds, I was after all, raised in a very multi cultural family, so that shouldn’t be too hard to do!
PS: on the back of all this high, true to form, early elections are being scheduled for September!
But I digress!
To celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday, here’s a look back on a few iconic Singaporean dishes that reflect each of its cultures:
Malay – Satay
Indian – Mee Goreng Mamak
Chinese – Singapore Chilli Crab
Eurasian – Sayur Lemak Serani
Nyonya – Laksa
And of course, we need to raise a toast, what better drink than the Singapore Sling!