by Hen Dee Pee,
TalkingCock's at-the-scene photojournalist
Singapore celebrated its 36th year of
independence last Thursday with its traditional
National Day Parade, held at the National Stadium. Our photojournalist Hen Dee
Pee brings you some of the highlights from her album, accompanied by her
reflections on this birthday extravaganza!
I was deeply honoured to be chosen by the Editor
to cover the National Day Parade this year.
Of course I would have felt even better
if the cheap bastards actually bothered to get me a ticket so I could
get in legally. But thanks to some ingenuity and the promise of
some sexual favours to some super desperate NSFs from the 9th Division,
I managed to sneak in. How? Did you see the size of this year's
fun pack? Piang eh, you could hide Tommy Suharto inside!
Anyway, it was my very first time attending the
NDP, and I must say, it was a very educational experience.
The main thing I learned was that it's a lot more
fun watching it on TV in air-con comfort, with snacks and drinks at hand, and
most important of all, the option of changing the channel during the sian
Trust me, being there in person to capture the
buzz of a live performance is kind of dampened by being seated next to some guy
with damn teruk B.O. Next year's organizers: include nose clips in the fun
Anyway, what always distinguishes our NDP from
other events is the heavy symbolism of the performances. Just thought I'd
share with you some choice moments... Majulah Singapura!
Together, We Make the Difference!
And let's underline that uplifting message
by reminding everybody:
Whoops! Looks like notwithstanding
the ginormous sign,
the NCC contingent forgot! All sign extra!
Oops! Excuuuuse me! A freefalling
commando regrets eating fish head curry for lunch at the mess today.
Anyone got Eno?
Man! It gets hot and sweaty in the
Stadium... which is why we're all issued these giant economy-sized wet towels!
I wonder how large a 'pok' sound
This dance by the People's Association portrays the family as the basic unit of
society, one of our shared values.
Looks like Singapore families not only share values, they share clothes too!
Send in the clones!
"Youuuu... light up my
liiiiiife... but you don't pay... my PUB..."
This giant lightbulb was sponsored by Mediacorp for all NDP audience members.
Which just goes to show that over there, the lights are on, but no one's home.
Lucky foreign dignitaries... you
get to watch TV while the parade is on!
Unfortunately for the second row, the dude in front won't take off his cap.
But that may be a blessing - it's probably Mediacorp programming.
This dance is supposed to
represent creativity in our education process...
Gee, nothing represents creativity in our education process better than a bunch
of kids being forced for months to march in tightly choreographed formation
while balancing heavy books over their heads!
And during the grand finalÈ: a
golden bridge linking Singapore to the World as a "global hubcity".
Except that the golden bridge seems to stop short of Australia...
Well, I guess this proves we weren't spying on them!
DECONSTRUCTING THE NDP 2001 FUN PACK:
This year's freebie bag was the largest to date.
Now I know why so many people fought for NDP tickets - the free gifts! How
Anyway, great care and thought clearly went into
selecting the contents of the giveaways. Many of the freebies were deeply
symbolic of Singaporean life. To wit:
The most important gift: the Complimentary
So who needs off-budget recession rebates? Oops!
This is your off-budget recession rebate!
And everyone knows how hot it gets... so
all of us got this 'handfan' in our fun packs. Except it
was too floppy to be of any use...
So most people used the NDP souvenir
programme instead to fan themselves instead!
Probably the only known instance of
propaganda actually being cool...
Actually, come to think of it, the hand
is pretty suggestive...
Anyone notice that on the bottom right,
it says Siemens? Yes, boys and girls... if you use your hand to
play with yourself, you'll get siemens all over it!
Which is probably why there are also a
couple of tissue packets in the fun pack too!
symbolizing our tolerance for those with alternative sexual preferences:
a bottle of... never mind.
If things aren't cheesy enough for you by
now, why, there's a packet of cheese crackers to keep you going!
The most useful thing in the
whole bag for me was this packet of instant coffee, including
creamer and sugar.
Especially handy for keeping you awake during those super sian moments!
Of course, it would have been
even more useful if they had also supplied some boiling water to
dissolve it in! Like many audience members, we just emptied the
coffee grounds into our mouths. Some folks snorted it up using a
straw, but the narcotics officers came and took them away.
Anyway, here's a final salute to all those
who worked so hard over the past few months...
You can now take a well-deserved break, secure in the thought that you'll
probably never ever have to do this again...
... if you're lucky!