An impressive turnout of about 5000 Singaporeans attended Singapore Day together with their family and friends at Century Park in Shanghai on 11 April 2015. The event was graced by guests of honour Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Minister Grace Fu, Ambassador to China Stanley Loh, and Consul-General to Shanghai Ong Siew Gay.
Singaporeans had come in anticipation of the great food, entertainment, and company at the biggest reunion of Singaporeans in Shanghai this year. There was much to see and do at the event — attendees could explore the five showcase areas demonstrating the different facets of our Singapore Story, indulge in a glorious array of delicious hawker dishes, and revel in performances put up by a stellar line-up of local celebrities.
University students Charmaine Choo and Sim Yongjie, who are currently on exchange in China, had made their way from Beijing specially for the event. For them, being away from Singapore had allowed them to “appreciate stuff at home better”, and Singapore Day was the perfect opportunity for them to savour once again all that they had missed about home.
This year’s reunion is a bittersweet one, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo in his address to an expectant audience, as Singaporeans came together to pay tribute to Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Reminding Singaporeans overseas that they are an integral part of the Singapore family, Deputy Prime Minister Teo also urged them to continue in their efforts to build a vibrant local community in China, and to contribute to Singapore.
A special marquee was also set up in the heart of the event grounds for attendees to pen notes in loving memory of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Over 2000 messages were collected. Thien Su Wei, who attended Singapore Day 2015 with friends, said that the marquee was a nice touch, particularly since there had been few opportunities for Singaporeans abroad to pay tribute.
2015 being Singapore’s 50th birthday was also not lost on the attendees. There were an array of specially designed SG50-themed activities which attendees could take part in at the various showcase areas. The I<3SG Trail, in particular, saw excited participants visiting the many booths to unravel snippets of Singapore’s nation-building journey.
The event culminated on a high note as Singaporeans came together to sing our National Day songs in an emotional finale. The singing of the National Anthem, with the raising of the National flag on stage, brought the event to a rousing end. Singaporeans, young and old, were spotting waving their “I <3 Singapore” and “Majulah Singapura!” scarves even as they exited the event grounds.
The Overseas Singaporean Unit would like to thank all Singaporeans for their overwhelming support, and for making Singapore Day 2015 a roaring success. Photos of the event have been uploaded onto Facebook and can be found here.