Singaporeans in Shanghai re-live their connection to home at Singapore Day 2011
Re-live and reconnect – that was the theme of Singapore Day 2011 held on 16 April. Held in Century Park, the largest park in Shanghai, it was a day when Singaporeans living, working and studying in China gathered to celebrate all things Singaporean. Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Wong Kan Seng graced the event as the Guest-of-Honour.
Singaporeans passed through a time tunnel depicting Singapore’s transformation through the years as they entered the event grounds. Once inside, they enjoyed Singapore’s unique brand of entertainment with performances by the cast of The Little Nonya, Under One Roof and Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd. Hosted by Michelle Chong and Chua Enlai in their on-screen personas Barbarella and Jacques Ooi from The Noose, the outdoor concert set the tone for a nostalgic reminder of home as Singaporeans sang along to local classics by Kit Chan and Cai Li Lian. The energetic students from Zhenghua Primary also dazzled the audience with a fusion dance performance.
Local hawker legends were also on site to whip up a feast of authentic Singapore cuisine. Singaporeans present got their fill of perennial favourites such as laksa, chicken rice and Indian rojak, as well as other dishes like satay bee hoon and sago gula melaka that were on the Singapore Day menu for the first time. Singaporeans attending the event were also pleasantly surprised by video greetings that family and friends back home had pre-recorded. Young Singaporeans too, were kept entertained with traditional games and many enjoyed themselves at the giant “ice kacang” machine ballpool at the first-ever Kids’ Zone.
Mr Yap Chee Gee, a Singaporean based in Shanghai, contributed to the festive atmosphere by walking the grounds dressed as a clown, and distributing balloon sculptures to children. He shared, “I really enjoy being with children, and appreciated the chance to play a part in Singapore Day 2011. I could not wait to try the authentic Singaporean hawker fare at the event, especially char kway teow, which is a must-taste!”
Singaporeans also had a preview of how Singapore was shaping up to be a vibrant and endearing home, with more leisure and lifestyle options. They viewed showcases of the exciting developments in Marina Bay as well as the upgrading and rejuvenation of housing estates to enable residents to enjoy quality living. Singaporean Annie Lim, who attended Singapore Day with her husband, said, “Nothing beats the feeling of coming home, and catching up with fellow Singaporeans at Singapore Day 2011. I really enjoyed the yummy local food, such as nasi lemak and chilli crab!”
“Singapore Day this year takes place in an upbeat mood. Our economic performance last year was very good and the momentum continues to the first quarter of this year. Growth forecast for this year is between 4% to 6%. The Government has shared the fruits of growth with all Singaporeans in our Budget this year. Singaporeans have already received letters from the Government on how much they will get from the Grow and Share Package. We will continue to prepare for the future by investing in our people, be it in education, training or improvements to our living environment,” said Deputy Prime Minister Wong.
He added, “The investments in our people naturally extend to those living, studying or working overseas. Overseas Singaporeans are important to us and we try to connect with them in many ways - through formal and informal networks, online social media, and events like Singapore Day. The event today brings a slice of home to our overseas Singaporeans. We hope that this will help our overseas Singaporeans maintain strong bonds with home and with fellow Singaporeans. We are all part of the Singapore family, no matter how far we are from our home.”
Singapore Day is a signature event to engage Overseas Singaporeans and help them stay connected with home and with one another. It is held in cities with a significant number of Overseas Singaporeans. Organised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore Day is a joint effort of the private, public and people sectors. Singapore Day 2011 was attended by Singaporeans working, living and studying in Shanghai as well as other cities all over China.
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