I’d never been a patriot by heart. Sounds quite harsh now that I’m saying it, but it’s the truth. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always loved my country, the food, the sun, the green… But I realize that it’s not until recently that I’ve begun to truly appreciate Singapore.
Leaving before I was even 10 years old didn’t give me enough time to miss my homeland, but now that my family has moved back, I have more opportunities to explore and experience this island- city vibrancy.
In this world where the intolerance of differences has shown time and time again to result in terrible conflict and war… Singapore is living, breathing proof that diversity can thrive. It is proof that people of different race, cultures and religion can indeed live as classmates, colleagues and neighbors. Of course, we are not perfect, and conflict does occur from time to time. But as Singapore turns 51 today (HAPPY NATIONAL DAYY!), Singaporeans everywhere look back at the past half a century and the progress we have made since then. Remarkable. Honestly remarkable. Born first into British rule, before WW2 hit and the Japanese occupation devastated, followed by unrest and chaos, and then Malaysian rule before, finally, our independence in 1965. It could never have been done without the drive of the people, and the integrity of our leaders.
It’s all very fitting to reflect a little on this because of 2 reasons:
Firstly, as I have mentioned before, it is the 9th of August and Singapore’s birthday!! Today everyone enjoys the public holiday and festive vibes, as the city is alive with celebration :)
It is fitting, secondly, due to the Olympics. The Games are, after all, a competition for both personal and national glory. And is the purpose of the power of sport not to encourage national pride and identity while cultivating appreciation for and unity between different nations?
I hope that as ya’ll enjoy the Games, that the sportsmanship reminds you both to appreciate your own country and to show love to others around you.