Your classmate, neighbour, colleague or relative may be among the many faces in Singapore’s first-ever National Day Parade (NDP) virtual choir.
Singaporeans who have submitted recordings of themselves singing the familiar National Day song, We Are Singapore, will unite in one voice as all submissions will be combined and broadcast during the evening show on Aug 9.
Celebrating Singapore’s 55th birthday amid this pandemic bears more significance than ever before. It gives us the golden opportunity to take a step back and recognise our country’s growth, unity and strength through this major crisis.
With a focus on celebrating at home, this year’s parade takes us back in time, when some parade segments were held on a smaller scale in the heartlands. A scaled-down parade will also be held at the Padang, with just 150 spectators.
The virtual choir is among many exciting and meaningful firsts in NDP history that we will be able to experience right from our homes.
For Ann Sng, this homebound National Day will be extra special for her family of four as they celebrate in their new abode. The 51-year-old accountant shares that she looks forward to staying home with her family and enjoying a special meal with nostalgic National Day songs playing in the background. They may even sing along, just like how they did when they joined in the celebrations in 2016 in the National Stadium at Singapore Sports Hub.
“The incredible atmosphere at the National Stadium back then gave me a sense of unity among Singaporeans. The performances also showed how much we have achieved over the years,” says Sng’s daughter, 17-year-old Joelle Sim.
Four years on, it is clear that solidarity among Singaporeans has remained stronger than ever. Since the country saw its first Covid-19 case six months ago, we have witnessed Singaporeans from all walks of life rallying together in many areas.
While frontliners relentlessly battle the virus, take care of the ill and work on developing a vaccine, others in the community have stepped up to donate food for the needy and elderly, and volunteer to refurbish laptops for students-in-need for home-based learning.
These heartwarming stories and more will be the highlight of this year’s National Day celebrations, which you can catch on TV or online through live streams.
Kick off the morning by watching the scaled-down parade at the Padang from home. The parade segment will comprise the state colours, guard-of-honour contingents formed by the Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy, Republic of Singapore Air Force and Singapore Police Force (SPF), as well as a combined band from SPF and the Singapore Armed Forces.
Each contingent will have 36 participants — half the number from previous years — who will wear a mask throughout the ceremony.
For the first time, the presidential gun salute will be conducted at the Padang together with the marching contingents on parade.
This will be followed by the crowd favourites of the state flag and fighter jet flypast, which you can also enjoy from home.
Find your spot by the window and catch sight of the state flag possibly flying past your home as you sing the National Anthem. Then, listen out for the iconic roar of fighter jets as they soar around the island as a display of appreciation for our frontline fighters. The mobile column, featuring vehicles from the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team, are set to roll through the heartlands through five different routes just like last year. And if you’re lucky, crowd-favourite Red Lion parachutists might make a special appearance in your neighbourhood — for the first time.
Rally your family together to participate virtually in activities such as NDP-themed workouts or cooking your favourite local dishes. Kids can also get crafty and upcycle items around the home to turn them into National Day decorations.
Watch and be inspired by a series of live stage performances and films that tell stories of real Singaporeans — frontline fighters and community heroes — during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the first time, the celebratory show, which will be broadcast on television and streamed online, will be held at The Star Performing Arts Centre with no live audience. Instead of the familiar mass participation items from past years, this year will feature smaller groups of 80 to 100 performers from the Home Team, Music and Drama Company and local artistes. When the inaugural NDP virtual choir comes on screen, light up your phones and wave them as you sing in harmony with the rest of the country.
End the night on a note of solidarity as we recite the national pledge together. From your window, you may just be able to gaze at the spectacular fireworks that will be set off across 10 different sites on the island.
For ensuring offices and every nook and cranny of its indoor and outdoor public spaces are kept clean and safe for all, Singapore Sports Hub has its 80-strong team of cleaning staff to thank.
March through these memories as we flip through the albums of NDP 2016, held at the National Stadium in Singapore Sports Hub.
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