On Saturday, I became one of the first members of public to view this year’s National Day Parade. It wasn’t even a NDP Preview, but the first full-scale dress rehearsal. It was the NDP Family Day, so coined because the audience was made up of family and friends of people participating in the parade. John managed to get 5 grand-stand tickets, and so my mom, Cathy, Zibin, Zibin’s mom and I got to have an evening of fun with a fantastic view!
John had warned us that we may be viewing a ‘comedy of errors’. And sure, they were still far from flawless, but it was fun nevertheless, and very heartwarming to see how much effort and spirit the performers showed.
My mom was in high spirits herself, and full of fun and mischief, much to Zibin’s mom’s surprise and amusement. You see, all these years, Zibin’s mom had my mom pegged as the ‘calm, quiet, serious one’ between my parents. On Saturday night, Zibin’s mom giggled into her hand everytime my mom did something impish. And when my mom tried to coax her into letting go as well, it was hilarious to see how Zibin’s mom would look surprised and self-conscious while trying to join in as well.
I was shutterbugging as usual, and sharing kiddish glee with Zibin and Cathy. And of course, Zibin kept Cathy and me laughing with his ridiculous comments. At one point, when Gurmit Singh was working the crowds, we were supposed to shout, “SINGAPORE!” when Gurmit asked, “Who are we?!” I was hollering gamely along with everyone else when Zibin turned to me after Gurmit asked another time “who are we”. Just as I opened my mouth to shout “SINGAPORE”, Zibin interrupted matter-of-factly, and with impeccable timing, “You’re Canadian.” Then, ignoring the daggers I was staring at him, he raised his arms and shouted “SINGAPORE!” with aplomb.
You can visit www.ndp.org.sg for downloads including NDP songs all the way from 1988. There are the children’s choir versions of ‘Home’, and, from this year, there’s a jazzed up version of ‘Semoga Bahagia’ and the 2006 NDP theme song, ‘My Island Home’ by Kaira Gong.
This year marks the last time that NDP will be held at the National Stadium before it’s torn down. And it’s the first time I’ve personally witnessed the blood and sweat behind NDP. I’m glad to have been there, and to have glimpsed John in action (though he was in the air-con control room for the entire thing :P).
Come see the photos!