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All the about Pkchukiss's life in the Singapore Armed Forces

Monday, August 08, 2005

National Day

It is that time of the year again.

Boring introduction suits cliched event that happens every year with the same monotony of brushing a teeth.

However, as far as the MCs of the National Day parade are concerned, National Day is the most exciting event to happen to Singapore since eons. They bounce around like a fevered bunny on steroids, marching the spectators and home viewers through the same menu of events year after year.

As if things were not bad enough, we have an organising committee which switch-a-roos between the armed formations each year. While I agree with the over-stressed point on how fresh hands are willing to try new stuff, I question their rationale: what is the use of having new people on the job when the same inefficiencies are repeated year after year? Sure, these people try new stuff, which are in essence the old mistakes made by their predecessors.

Definitely innovative.

I could list the events for the day:

  1. Pre-parade Segment:

    Teenagers from the ITE would bound around (think rabbits) in a song that embodies "joy", "youth", and "hope" (smaller than usual capitalisation intentional). Choir bursts into a national day song.

  2. Parade marches in:

    A few commercial entities, in addition to the armed forces, march in military formation, to symbolise the five facets of Total Defence. Choir bursts into a national day song.

  3. MPs arrive. Choir bursts into a national day song.

  4. Prime Minister arrives. Parade does a salute. Choir bursts into a national day song.

  5. President arrives. Parades does a salute. Colours salute. Choir bursts into a... (you get the idea)

  6. Show One/Two/Three: Themes can range from "unity" to "prosperity", etc... provided that it is a cornerstone of the current national thrust. Choir bursts into a national day song every now and then. A video show, or two of proud Singaporeans...

  7. Fireworks go off to the tune of a national day song sung by - you-know-who.

  8. Everybody present says the National pledge

  9. President goes off

  10. Spectators find themselves being ushered out

It is the same thing over and over again. It is akin to a salesman peddling his wares on the street. He does the same thing, only difference is the variety of his wares year after year.

I was at the National Day parade last year as a serviceman on usher duty. I was there too the year previous as a civilian. Before those two, I was witness to the same cookie-cutter for 18 years.

Given that I have seen the same show repackaged in the same box every year, I feel justified in doing anything other than watch the National Day parade. It should have sounded stale to everybody 38 years ago (Singapore celebrates Her 40th Independence day tomorrow), and I find it a curious social phenomenon that Singaporeans continue to find inspirational value in it.

Happy National Day! (And for the umpteenth time, Singapore does NOT celebrate a birthday. It is our Independence day we are celebrating!)

P.S.: I have no idea why I sound so cynical today, but the fact remains that I am peeved. Whether my medicine has any links with my fits today is still an untested theory.

P.S.S: I am still feeling drowsy from all the medicine I am taking. My doctor has advised me to get a chest ray done if my bad cough still persist.

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