Friday, August 09, 2013

You're 48, Singapore, Look Beyond The Surface Please

While the gilded gold leaves lie well across the country, I hope you can look beyond the superficial bubbles of the Parades and ostensible displays of wealth and success, and do something that doesn't require being 'first'. Peace and sovereign independence are valued and cherished. But they shouldn't be trade-offs.

Sometimes, I feel right at home here, and at other times, I'm just a stranger passing through who refuses to conform to whatever you think I ought to fulfil by way of national obligations. With each passing year, the twinge that appeared in my teens grow stronger, and I know you won't become the city that my ideals hope that a hometown would be; not in my lifetime. So our relationship is purely transactional. Hello, I pay taxes, and as far as I'm concerned, that's all you can ask of me.

I don't understand all your talk about Conversation and Identity. The city changes all the time. Why ask for constants? Why demand it? Why will it? The only thing I understand, is change (and economics). Even culture isn't constant. There're no cultural markers that stay put long enough to be accepted across generations. By the way, I never understood the need for fireworks, the crappy story of the Merlion and its weird physical symbol, or that stupid chicken dance we were made to do in school for not-at-all-fun orientation camps. Not when I was a kid, and most certainly not now. Be hip for the next generation, will ya?

Happy Birthday, Singapore.

1 comment:

sinlady said...

actually, this country wants not just constants, but instants. Hence the instant creation of the merlion with its weird ugly mismatched animal-fish parts for our national symbol.Then think all the myths romanticizing early migrant workers and nation building when those early arrivals came to make a living, not build a country. On and on. Myths, repeated and retold over time, becomes historical truths.And here we are today, 48 yrs as a nation.
Majulah Singapura, imp.