Singapore celebrates her independence on 9th August. And in every year, there is the much anticipated NDP - National Day Parade.
When I first arrived to Singapore last time, I was quite surprised that quite a lot of Singaporeans are very eager to watch the NDP.
Some will ask like "Eh, you got tickets for the NDP or not?"... "Did you watch the NDP last night?". Then they will elaborate what they will be seeing or what they saw.
The tickets are given out via balloting where lucky winners will get a chance to watch the parade in the official venue - usually held in the stadium, except last year & this year which is to be held at the city waterfront stand.
I guess with such limited capactiy, and with a rather grand performance each year, no wonder it is quite a hit amongst the locals.
Of course, not everyone share the same "I want to see the NDP" sentiments, but then, the numbers wanting to watch the NDP is rather high - quite a surprise to back home I guess?
There are even reports of a 'black market' last time to get the NDP tickets! Wow, to pay to watch for the national day parade - now, that is quite something.
Anyway, more interestingly, there is the theme to the NDP each year, and this year is Sharing The Singapore Spirit.
And each year too, there is a release of a NDP song & video clips. The official version is usually in English, but many times there is also the accompanying Mandarin version (sometimes even in Malay language). The song is usually a mix of patriotism, dreams & hopes and unity.
I usually look forward to listening to the National Day song as despite being a national song, it usually has a dose (sometimes a big dose) of pop & is usually inspiring. In other words, it can pass off as a pop song, though at times, one may need to listen to it a few times to appreciate it.
And the singers are no exception - they are usually one of Singapore's more celebrated artistes who will hold the glamour to sing this song, appearing in video clips shown throughout the nation... and also usually perform on the night of the NDP. Past artistes include Stefanie Sun, Tanya Chua & Taufik Batisah.
And this year, newly championed Asian Idol, Hardi Mirza sings the English song - Shine For Singapore, while award winner Joi Chua sings the Mandarin version.
The English version
The Mandarin version
Related: One of my favourite NDP songs.