2015 was a memorable year for Singapore, and it was a year marked by many events in celebration of our nation’s Golden Jubilee. Singaporeans living overseas flew our flag high and organised over 80 celebrations for Singaporean communities. With food, games and a whole lot of other favourite Singaporean activities (lucky draws, anyone?), here are eight outstanding SG50 events that showcased our love for Singapore and in many cases, food!
1. SG50 Adelaide – Past Present and Future, Australian Singapore Business Council (ASBC), Australia
Image credits: Dr Ernie Goh
Graced by Member of Parliament Mr Seah Kian Peng and Singapore’s High Commissioner to Australia His Excellency Mr Burhan Gafoor, the SG50 event in Adelaide was the biggest event organised by the Singaporean community in Adelaide. The two-day event included activities for everyone, with plenary sessions, luncheons, as well as a ‘Family & Makan Day’.
“It was clear that food is the common language of all Singaporeans, and it is certainly something that brings Singaporeans together,” said Dr Ernie Goh, President of the ASBC. The event was made possible with the help of Singaporeans from all walks of life, coming together to organise the most successful Singaporean event in Adelaide’s history. “Most participants also commented that it was a wonderful and successful event, and all of them loved the food!” Dr Goh added.
2. SG50BNE, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia
Image credits: Jeremy Lo
The Singapore Student Association of QUT has a tradition of co-organising National Day celebrations annually, but it was made extra special last year because of SG50. SG50BNE was held at the Brisbane City Hall, and it was the first time a Singaporean community-led event was being organised at such large scale. “Since NDP2015 was going to be held in front of the City Hall, we thought it would be great if we could organise SG50BNE at the Brisbane City Hall too,” said Alfred Bay, International Students Officer for the Singapore Students Association at QUT. “The Brisbane City Council lit their City Hall red, joining in the National Day celebrations with us,” added Alfred.
There was also a carnival featuring food vendors (selling local favourites), game stations and performances. The evening concluded with an outdoor live screening of the National Day Parade. “It felt wonderful having everyone seated together watching and admiring the hard work of Singaporeans back home,” said Alfred. “This was especially so when everyone waved their flags and stood at attention for the National Anthem.”
3. SG50 Celebration, Singaporeans in Germany Club, Germany
Image credits: Amy K.
The Singaporeans in Germany club, organised a SG50 Picnic Event in July last year. Held in Munich, the cosy event saw 35 attendees and their family members for an afternoon of fun and games. Indulging in packets of nasi lemak and ondeh-ondeh, participants also had the chance to revisit some of their childhood games such as kuti-kuti and chapteh.
The picnic ended with the recital of the National Pledge and the National Anthem, with a virtual Singapore flag on screen. “Whenever I recite the pledge, I feel very proud to be a Singaporean,” said Amy K, founder of the club. “Through these efforts, we hope that our fellow overseas Singaporeans know that Singapore is always our home.”
4. ‘Singapore, It’s Where We Belong!’ Song and Music Video, singer-composer Sharliza Rahman, United Kingdom
Promotional image for the music video
Image Credits: Sharliza Rahman
For SG50, singer-songwriter Sharliza Rahman composed a lively song to celebrate our success and ‘never-say-die’ spirit. That was how ‘Singapore, It’s Where We Belong’ was born. Inspired by evergreen Singaporean national day songs such as ‘We Are Singapore’ and ‘Count On Me Singapore’, Sharliza hoped to convey our nation’s triumphs and resilience through music.
“Singaporeans love a good sing-along,” she said. “I believe that an upbeat song which celebrates our success and ambitions is a message that resonates with us.” The video was made possible by the community of overseas Singaporeans who stepped forward during the SG50 March for Charity.
5. SG50-Themed Musical, Imperial College Student Society (ICSS), United Kingdom
Image credits: Clive Aw
A young and energetic bunch, the Imperial College Student Society (ICSS) was not going to miss out on doing their part for SG50 last year.
Chaired by producer Ms Choo Jiahui, the society put together a musical titled ‘Brothers’, celebrating the Singaporean way of life. “It was a story of camaraderie and familiarity, dressed in the colloquial Singlish that we are all very proud of,” said Clive Aw, Student Leader of the ICSS.
The musical saw a turnout of over 500 people at the university’s Great Hall, including working adults and students living outside of London who came down especially for the play. “The response was extremely positive. The attendees greatly appreciated the fact that at least 100 Singaporean students put this together, all within the span of 3 months,” added Clive. “It was also our pleasure to be graced by the High Commissioner of Singapore to London, Her Excellency Ms Foo Chi Hsia.”
6. Family Fun Day, Patrica Loh, United States
Image credits: Patricia Loh
Family Fun Day is an annual event for Singaporeans in the Albany area. Since 2013, volunteers would prepare local Singaporean food and introduce childhood games such as chapteh and tikam-tikam to the Singaporean kids living in the area. “This was done for the children to get in touch with their Singaporean roots and culture,” said Patricia Loh, Community Leader.
The event also included a National Day sing-along session in celebration of SG50 and National Day. Each year, the turnout for the event ranges from 120 to 150 guests. “I think the one most memorable thing I remember each year is the Singaporean spirit – it is pretty unforgettable as most of us come dressed in red and white for the occasion!”
7. Hawkers Fair, SingMa Club, United States
Image credits: SingMa Club
Of the many things Singaporeans and Malaysians share in common, love for hawker fare is definitely at the top of the list. With the National Days of Singapore and Malaysia taking place in August, it has been SingMa club’s tradition to commemorate both nations’ independence in the form of a Hawkers Fair. With talented chefs in the club, it was a great opportunity for members to get a fix of their favourite local dishes. “The Hawkers Fair is an annual event to celebrate National Day, but also an opportunity for our members to enjoy the food back home,” said Nick Lim, President of the SingMa Club.
Last year’s edition was organised in line with the celebration of SG50, with a cake baked for the occasion and having members share their thoughts about Singapore’s 50 years of independence. The event last year also saw a record turnout of over 350 attendees, with all of them happily mingling around while enjoying local delicacies such as chicken rice, satay, rendang, nasi lemak, laksa and many more!
8. SG50 Celebration @ Blk 71, SingaporeConnect, United States
Image credits: SingaporeConnect
To celebrate Singapore’s milestone with family and friends, Block 71, a Singaporean start-up, organised a SG50 celebration party at their compound. Attendees came decked in colours of red and white, all ready to take part in a best-dressed contest and in a day of fun and games. The closely-knit community brought along their strong sense of patriotism, with the Singapore spirit manifesting in their decorations with flags, streamers and posters all around.
With local food galore, game stations and even a dessert-making contest, attendees had an enjoyable day. “There were old-time childhood games like eraser wars, chapteh and five stones. Singaporeans formed teams and performed their version of the Great Singapore Workout on stage. There was also a Family Challenge, which pitted families against each another to complete an obstacle course, starting with a three-legged race and using simple materials such as straws, rubber bands, and sepak tekraw balls to blast towards the finish line triumphantly.” said Mark Sin of SingaporeConnect.
While many of such events were organised for SG50, these communities have been and will continue to organise get-togethers and events all-year round for 2016. If you would like to be part of such events, connect with a Singaporean group near you today!