The Straits Times
Published on Jan 04, 2013

Promote community songs in schools


HAVING gone through our education system, I have had the opportunity to be exposed to various local cultures through the singing of national, community as well as folk songs.

Singaporeans ought to have a greater community spirit in order to preserve the social cohesion we have sought to build over the years, yet be open to new ideas as the world around us is changing rapidly.

What anchors us to a place is our shared memories and kinships. One of the shared memories of many from my generation is the singing of beautifully crafted national and community songs by Singaporean talent such as Zubir Said and Ken Lim.

We have community and National Day songs such as Di Tanjong Katong, Five Stars Arising, Count On Me Singapore and Stand Up For Singapore. Clearly, we as a nation have our own cache of songs we can relate to and which can foster community spirit among us.

This is important at a time when the demands of a globalised world mean that national barriers are broken down.

Therefore, it is critical for us to preserve our community spirit even as we embrace globalisation.

Community spirit, when inculcated in us from a young age, will hopefully become what binds us as a country and anchors us here.

I therefore urge the Ministry of Education to re-introduce the singing of national and community songs in schools, to remind us of where we came from in order to keep us anchored as a society.

Vernon Lim