Overseas Singaporeans across China gather for Singapore Day 2019
Singaporeans in China raise funds in support of President’s Challenge Empowering for Life Fund, and pledge their support for the nomination of Singapore’s Hawker Culture into the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
13 April 2019
More than 3,500 Singaporeans gathered at Singapore Day 2019 at Century Park in Shanghai. Singapore Day is held each year by rotation in China, UK, US and Australia to bring Singaporeans, their families and friends together to celebrate everything Singaporean. Previous editions of Singapore Day held in Shanghai, China, were in 2011 and 2015.
This year’s event sought to celebrate the reunion of Singaporeans in China and was an occasion for them to strengthen bonds, relieve memories and connect with the recent developments in Singapore.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who joined fellow Singaporeans at the gathering, said: “We have a global footprint because of Singaporean companies and Singaporeans like you who have grown beyond our shores. All of you have valuable experiences and insights that are of value to Singaporeans back home and to Singapore’s future growth and development.”
In addition to showcasing overseas Singaporeans and their contributions to the communities where they live, as part of the SG Cares movement, all nine chapters of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (SingCham), came together over the past months in the lead-up to Singapore Day, to drive fundraising efforts in different cities for the President’s Challenge 2019. A total of S$16,708 was raised, and the cheque was received by Deputy Prime Minister Teo on behalf of the beneficiaries.
Dorothy Seet, Chairperson of SingCham, said: “We are happy to have many Singaporeans in China work together to raise funds in support of the President’s Challenge Empowering for Life Fund. For this campaign, we aim to help underprivileged women and their families, as well as forging intergenerational work teams. Knowing that there are such worthwhile causes in Singapore, many Singaporeans were willing to contribute and care for those back home, no matter where they are in the world."
This year, Singapore Day brings together the joint effort of the people, private and public sectors to build a more caring and inclusive society. All Singaporean retailers at the ‘Shop for Good’ initiative have committed a portion of their proceeds in support of the President’s Challenge. This allowed Singaporeans at the event to purchase Singaporean products for a good cause.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said: “Acts of care come in all forms. I am glad to see overseas Singaporeans in China exemplify the SG Cares movement, and contributing towards building a more caring Singapore back home. With their hearts rooted to home, they continue to do us proud overseas by contributing to their respective communities. I am happy to see so many ‘ambassadors’ of Singapore here today, as they fly our flag high all around the world.”
As we celebrate Singapore Bicentennial this year, the “Singapore Showcase” reflects on the shared values that Singapore is founded on, celebrates the Singapore identity, and seeks to inspire optimism in Singapore’s future.
The “Singapore Showcase” is divided into three main zones with these main themes and values:
Pride and Belonging features familiar places, sights, icons to allow visitors to immerse into Singapore’s history and multi-cultural heritage, and feel a sense of pride and national identity.
Confidence and Hope for Singaporeans to discover possibilities in our meritocratic society with opportunities for all, and a gateway to Asia.
Care and Commitment allows visitors to discover meaningful causes back home in Singapore, and be inspired by stories of fellow Singaporeans around the world who have contributed to society and demonstrated acts of care.
This year, apart from savouring a taste of home with local hawker fare, fellow Singaporeans also showed their support for the nomination of Singapore’s Hawker Culture to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Said Asfalilah Binti Talib, 45: “Singaporeans living abroad enjoy sharing our multi-ethnic hawker food from Singapore with friends from all over the world, like mee goreng, roti prata and rojak. We also invite our overseas friends to join us at hawker centres when they visit to enjoy the food and the company of Singaporeans from all walks of life. I am sure Singaporeans are very proud of the nomination of our hawker culture, as it is what makes Singapore, Singapore!”
A uniquely Singapore concert, hosted by Hossan Leong and Chua Enlai, featured many popular and locally-composed tunes by home-grown artistes such as Joanna Dong, Rani Singam, Aisyah Aziz and MICappella. Local artistes Gen Neo and Open Score Project also performed at Singapore Day for the first time. This year’s concert also featured young Singaporeans from various cities in China as they performed the classic children’s song “Semoga Bahagia”, recited the Singapore Pledge and sang the National Anthem with artiste Joanna Dong.
Sarah You, 4, living in Xi’an said: “I enjoyed singing this song with my new friends from other parts of China. I also learnt that this song was also sung by my parents when they were my age.”
Added Jeraldine Chan, 33: “This song brings back fond memories when I was growing up in Singapore. This is especially meaningful to me as the lyrics resonate with my hopes for my daughter as she grows up in this globalised world.”