Our children are our future, so much so that we would invest more into safeguarding their life in Singapore than anything else. But we don’t often hear about our children’s views about national identity, and being children, their views very much differ from ours.
My own 3-year-old son has taken to using the word “Singapore” to mean parades of any nature (National Day and our annual Chingay celebrations included). And he really likes parades. Ever since his first National Day Parade 1 year ago, almost every morning thereafter he would say, “I want to go to Singapore!” We would try to explain to him we’re already in Singapore, but then again, we’re also talking about a boy who thinks “Save My World” is a National Day song.
So this National Day, we asked a few parents what being Singaporean means to their children, and some of their answers weren’t quite what we were expecting.
Adeline Lee: “My kid is too young to understand what is going on.”
Regina Soejanto-Moo: “I think it means an extra day of fun with Mummy and Daddy for him!”
Cindy Wong: “Singing of national songs to their hearts content!”
Kelvin Ang: “National Day to my children means being able to tattoo (temporarily) their bodies with Singapore flags and declare proudly that they love Singapore with all their hearts”
Vincent Lee: “My older kid recognises the flag. And he can recite the pledge, but half-baked.”
Khalidah Goh: “My seven year old said it is about celebrating the country he loves and about being happy that he is here and not any where else.”
Pamela Tan: “To my son, Isaac, being a Singaporean means cheering on our table tennis teams simply because they’re donning Singapore’s flag, as he doesn’t know nor understand their nationality issues. And when we won, he was ecstatic! ;)”
Sammi Zheng: “Although Jaime is not a Singapore citizen, he believes he is a Singaporean because he was born here grew up here. He is very proud and also supports Singapore when he is watching the Olympics.”
Our kids may be more patriotic than we think. So go ahead, and add on to the list. Ask your children what National Day, being Singaporean or Singapore itself means, and let us know what they say in the comments!
And from all of us at theAsianParent.com, have a very happy National Day!