Sunday, August 09, 2009
Episode 321: I Didn't. Did You?
This year was one of the few when I didn't watch the parade, except for the closing bits. Couldn't be helped because my parents stayed back after service to practise for an item, but if I'd been at home, I wouldn't have watched the parade on TV anyway. I guess now I'm just a bit too detached in the way that I look at NDP, so I don't feel like I'm missing out terribly if I don't see the parade. Then there was the whole business about getting everyone to recite the pledge at 8.22 pm. My dad actually did, even though we were already at home by then. I spent most of the car ride home idly speculating on whether Singaporeans in various situations would drop everything just for 30 seconds to do that. I'm not sure whether or not this exercise is actually meaningful. Intuitively, it sounds wonderful. Singaporeans all across the island (and the world) coming together for a brief moment, united by our affirmation of the words of the pledge. Yet if you start thinking about it, why is it that we only make a big deal about the pledge on National Day? How about the other 364/365 days of the year? Are we living out the meaning of the pledge? As for all those people happily taking the pledge overseas, I'm not denying that it demonstrates a connection to our country. I would like to know though, just how many of these people could have flown back for National Day, but didn't. I guess you could say that I'm a quiet patriot. I'm proud of my country; I just don't see how encouraging me to say the pledge at 8.22 pm is supposed to make me feel prouder.