Singapore turns 55 come Aug 9 and this year will be a little different.

The National Day Parade and previews that we all used to look forward to now have been scaled down. For those who live for their annual national day retreats overseas, trips are now either postponed, or cancelled.

As with most Covid-19 related events, this year’s National Day Parade has gone mostly virtual. Don’t fret though, there are still plenty of things to do for everyone in the lead up to and on Singapore’s 55th birthday.

Here are some ways to celebrate how far we have come in our little red dot.

Eat Singapore local food for 2020 National Day
Image source: Shutterstock / SAKARET

Eat #local

If there is one thing that can unite us as a nation, it is food. Over food, we gather with family, bond with friends and romance our partners.

The pandemic has hit everyone in different ways but the local food and beverage industry is one of the hardest hit. So why not for National Day, let’s show our support for our local F&B brands by patronising our hawkers or ordering from homegrown restaurants.

You can support our local F&B outlets, and get some good National Day deals to boot.

Let us watch some old Singapore shows
Image source: Colin Goh

Watch #local

Leading up to National Day and over the next few months, celebrate Singapore celluloid on Netflix with local-made films and TV series. Reminisce about the good old days with quintessentially Singaporean movies such as I Not Stupid, well-loved characters like Jack Neo’s Liang Po Po and homegrown TV series like Growing Up.

Watching these shows will remind you just how far we have come in the arts scene and what makes us “Uniquely Singapore”– a celebration of the coming together of a multicultural society, our educational system and the Singapore dream.

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You can also watch Gardens by the Bay and Mediacorp National Day Concert on Aug 10 where local personalities will make appearances, with highlights like President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee taking part in a special rendition of the National Day song Home.

Listen to Singapore National Day theme songs
Image source: Shutterstock / Amnaj Khetsamtip

Listen #local

For the music lovers, there is much to be proud of. Our homegrown musicians and bands have been making leaps and bounds in the music industry. The official NDP 2020 theme song, Everything I Am by Nathan Hartono is an ode to our national spirit of togetherness, encouraging Singaporeans to be appreciative and kind to one another.

In addition, Charlie Lim will open NDP 2020 with his song, titled Room at the Table. The singer-songwriter was motivated by this year’s dramatic events, specifically the plight of the migrant workers hit by Covid-19 to write the song. It is actually an extension of the prelude to NDP 2018’s theme song We are Singapore. All proceeds from Room at the Table this year will go towards Its Raining Raincoats and Transient Workers Count Too.

Donate money or volunteer your time at Singapore not-for-profit organisations
Image source: Shutterstock / GoodStudio

Help #local

Sometimes, we take our country for granted, nitpicking and complaining on social media. However, I believe that deep down inside, most of us acknowledge that no matter what, Singapore will always be our home, in good or bad times.

As we strive to be a more caring, inclusive and resilient Singapore, let’s grow the spirit of giving by supporting one another by helping our local communities.

You can donate money or volunteer your time at local not-for-profit organisations via the Giving.sg platform.

Families for Life is also calling on families and individuals to share the care this National Day by donating to the President’s Challenge. With any donation to the #FFLShareTheCare campaign, you can also receive an e-recipe booklet with recipes from local bakeries, President Halimah Yacob and local celebrity Fann Wong.

Participate on Aug 9 for Singapore National Day 2020
Image: Brain Jeffery Beggerly

Participate on Aug 9

This year’s NDP celebrations will see the Singapore spirit being live-streamed into every home with interactive segments for all Singaporeans to participate in with their friends and families on TV and the Internet.

There will be five mobile column routes island-wide and fireworks will be shown across 10 heartland locations. For those wanting to participate in festivities with fellow Singaporeans, observance ceremonies will also be held at respective grassroots locations across Singapore.

For sports and fitness lovers, the Singapore Sports Hub goes virtual for its National Day Fiesta this year. In the 55-minute live show broadcast on its Youtube page, you can work up a sweat with K-Pop fitness and #Plankthatsong challenges. You can also pick up fun facts and play interactive games.

We need to stay united as a nation. By appreciating and supporting one another through difficult times, we will be able to overcome challenges as one. Make your pledge to keep us as one united people.

With so much to do leading up to Aug 9, get your red and white outfits ready to celebrate Singapore’s 55th birthday, where no one gets left behind, because this is home, truly.

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