Over 9000 overseas Singaporeans gathered for a sunny day of reunion in Victoria Park, London on 29th March 2014, excited by the hawker food, updates from home and our esteemed guest of honour Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In a Facebook post, PM Lee said, “I was happy to meet thousands of them at Singapore Day in London. The weather was beautiful and everyone had a marvellous time. I took selfies with so many people, young and old!”
Many overseas Singaporeans had travelled a long way to get to Singapore Day. Nur Hazimah and Jouln Ng, chartered a bus with friends all the way from Bristol for that slice of home. One volunteer hailed from as far as the United States, flying in just to be a part of the event.
“I could feel the strong Singapore spirit among the participants today. More than 180 overseas Singaporeans volunteered to help organise and contribute to the event. Apart from Singapore Day, Singaporeans abroad do organise their own programmes to keep in touch with home and with one another. I am glad to see that many have a keen interest in what is happening in Singapore and want to contribute to make Singapore a better home for us all.” said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
Victoria Quek, who attended with her three boys, said they enjoyed the Mindef showcase immensely and played officer for a day by donning an officer’s uniform at the showcase. For one of her boys, it was a repeat visit to Singapore Day in London, having attended the 2009 instalment of the event.
Singaporeans were also reunited with familiar faces from home. The Dim Sum Dollies, Hossan Leong, The Noose’s Chua En-lai and Michelle Chong, music duo and radio entertainers Jack & Rai, as well as indie rockers, The Great Spy Experiment, and fellow Singaporeans took to the stage to entertain the crowd. Petra Tang especially enjoyed the Dim Sum Dollies’ antics, “I got all the insider jokes!”
Local student performers displayed their talents at the satellite stage. Dominic Nah, impressed the crowd with his beatboxing skills. An attendee, Lena Yeo, who enjoyed Dominic’s performance, was amazed by his vocal dexterity and perfect sense of rhythm.
The event ended on a high, with the crowd on their feet, waving flags and joining in the finale song “Home”. Even as the event closed, many Singaporeans lingered, for that last taste of hawker food and familiar sounds from home.