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Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Monday, August 10, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

Dear Blogger,

So... Singapore is now 44 years old. The Straits Times today is full of pictures and reports of last night's National Day Parade (NDP). We only watched about half of the show on TV. We lost interest in it after too many corny jokes by the comedic hosts and hostesses.

After years of trying to outdo previous years' parade, I think the NDP should just go back to basics i.e. marches and military prowess display. With no offense to all the choreographers, school children and civil service volunteers, I think we can do without the dances and theatrical displays for once. Maybe includes those acts once every 4 years or something.

So what does it mean to be Singaporean? What do I see (to quote the theme song this year)? I see more foreign-born Singaporeans, either "bought" by the government or self-brought by the attraction of Singapore's clean and safe records.

I have no problems with that. Singapore historically was an immigrant nation anyway. It's just that I wish the new Singaporeans would adapt to our culture and discard some of their homeland's bad habits. For example, born and bred Singaporeans are brought up to respect the litter bins. The new Singaporeans on the other hand, see the streets as one giant litter bin!

Also, no need to be scared of us and we don't need to be scared of them. We can all be friends. It's understandable to find solace in people from similar backgrounds, but one doesn't have to be so exclusive about it.

What does it mean for me to be a Singaporean? I still don't have a convincing answer. I would hesitate greatly to pack my bags and live in another country but that doesn't mean I'm a patriotic citizen. I guess one of the reasons why answering this question is so difficult is because all my life, I have been identified as a race than as a citizen.

Fill up any form, whether it is for school, work or simply a lucky draw, one is asked of his ethnic background. Is that even relevant? So, I've always been a Malay Singaporean instead of just Singaporean. Therefore, to ask what does it mean for me to be a Singaporean is almost an enigma.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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