August is a month of celebration in Singapore as we commemorate her independence, and the entire city-country is awash in a sea of red and white (and stars). This year, we celebrate our 48th birthday as an independent country.
The patriotism was most relevant and significantly felt when the Man and I were still in mainstream schools. After we graduated and moved on to the grinds of a adult and working life, the deliberate exposure to the celebrations of our National Day is gone.
Thankfully, through our kids and their enthusiastic preparations for their school’s National Day celebration, we are reconnected with the patriotic happenings around the country.
Matthew started singing bits and pieces of the theme song for the 2013 National Day Parade last Thursday at home, but all I caught were weird wolf calls “wooh oh, wooh oh oh”, and the puzzling “Uncle, Teh Tarik for everyone!” which had him laughing to himself, Megan grinning beside him, and I frowning in puzzlement.
On Monday, he came back with what he called the “break dance” portion of the song (it was a rap) and he had the hand movements to match. Again, a head-scratching moment for me. He then came back from school every day and repeated the memorable portions of the song.
He finally sang the full lyrics of the theme song to us yesterday evening. We were very impressed as it was a very long song (to us at least) and he mastered it in 4 days. Megan was able to join in the weird chorus with the wolf calls. Their spirits were high and in their childish, high-pitched voices, I could feel the stirrings of patriotism taking root in their young hearts. Well, at the very least, they are very passionate about their upcoming performances in school.
My curiosity finally got the better of me. How can I, being their mother, not know what the kids are singing about, or at least what the theme song is for this year, right? Right. So now I know. And the puzzling pieces of the song fit together now. The theme song is ‘One Singapore’, and the wolf calls in the chorus are not intended to be wolf calls. They go like this, “Wooh ho-oh^oh, wooh ho-oh, oh…(proper words)”. But somehow, I prefer the kids’ rendition, for they lend an innocent and cutesy light to the chorus. You can view the video of the theme song here.
It’s heartening the kids are learning more about their birthplace through activities in school, and I’m grateful for the efforts of the teachers to get the kids educated about the the country. Time for the Man and I to buck up…