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48 Singaporean Seconds: Multi-racial Singapore is unique, says K-pop fan

Published on Jul 24, 2013 7:51 PM

Singapore celebrates its 48th birthday on Aug 9, and to tie in with this, The Straits Times Picture Desk has put together 48 Singaporean Seconds, an audio-visual tribute to Singaporeans who have made this little red dot their home.

We are releasing their stories and videos in the next few weeks. In the 13th instalment of our series, we talk to K-pop fan Nazurah Atiqah.

Nazurah Atiqah, 23, civil servant

Like many K-pop fans, civil servant Nazurah Atigah cheers her idols at the K-pop gigs she attends.

Ms Nazurah Atiqah (right), 23, a South-east Asian Studies arts degree holder who speaks fluent Korean after taking language electives for six semesters because of her love for korean pop. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

What sets the 23-year-old apart from other Singaporean fans, though is that she actually understands every single word the performers are singing about.

She had taken a Korean-language elective while studying at the National University of Singapore as she wanted to understand what the Korean stars were singing about in their videos.

She graduated last year with an arts degree in South-east Asian studies and now works as an executive handling engagement and outreach.

Her interest in Korean culture has also made her more curious about multi-racial Singapore. "In Singapore, we may not have a homogeneous culture, yet people are still united through shared concerns," she says.

"At a football match, for example, you can see a Chinese uncle and a Malay boy discussing the game," she observes. "And when a goal is scored, everyone stands and cheers together."

As she sees it, "we're unique because we take bits from different cultures, adapt them and make them our own" - even K-pop, too.

- Photos and videos by The Straits Times Picture Desk