death by paper cut

{August 10, 2010}   National Day 2010

national day, synonymous with public holiday and often coupled with makan sessions with friends while watching the national day parade on live broadcast.

a couple of us did just that last night. i appreciate the opportunity to gather with friends on public holidays. watching the ndp together is fun because of the tongue-in-cheek comments made about the parade. if snide remarks can bond citizens together, then i think that the common experience engendered from such nationalistic displays is achieved successfully.

Watching NDP 2010 13

i’m skeptical about this year’s ndp theme –  Live Your Dreams, or something to that effect. i believe that it is ingrained in our national psyche that we are to be pragmatic than we are allowed to be dreamers.

dreams requires a certain amount of unquantifiable faith, hope and a belief without counting the opportunity cost or caring about others may think.

i think we are a nation of people who do not dare to dream because time and again dreams are shot in in favor of being a doctor, lawyer or businessmen. just ask a typical young singaporean about to enroll in university about what guides his or her choice of courses and the answer will largely be influenced by the speculation of which course will have the most economic returns. personal choices are made everyday according to how useful the outcome might be, rarely according to how it fulfills the individual.

if we are striving for dreams, it will often be dreams set out for us already. parents and this parent state live their dreams through their children and invest in them again for useful returns.

what totally irks me is a light box poster i saw at clementi mrt station. by the time i went back with my camera to take a photo of it, the public service announcement has changed so you just have to take my word for it. the light box poster in the spirit of this year’s ndp theme shows four cimo* children smiling and exclaiming, “our dream is to be scholars.”


uniquely singapore it truly is. scholars by virtue of scholarship? by virtue of being ranked above others? by virtue of external validation proclaiming that i am the best, i am better than you? what the scholarship is for is of course not as important as being called a scholar.

Live Your Dreams is an intrinsically worthy theme to celebrate. i hope that although encased in propaganda, some young singaporean will catch that hopeful sentiment and pursue his or her dream independent of the agenda of others.

in other musings, since when do we consider singapore home affairs as “homeland security“?

*cimochinese, indian, malay, others.

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