Glad to meet a proud S'porean

I am from the United States and have visited Singapore several times since the 1980s.

During my recent visit, I asked the young man at my hotel's concierge desk if he could recommend a good place to find satay.

He immediately used a map to show me and give directions. I thought he might be from Indonesia, so I asked him: "Are you Indonesian?"

He smiled and said: "I am Singaporean."

In my country, people are more likely to respond to a question like that by saying: "I am Irish American" or "I am African American".

But here, this young man just wanted me to know that he is Singaporean. What a patriot!

Congratulations, Singapore and a belated Happy Birthday. May you enjoy ten thousand more.

Kenneth M. Costigan, Sr.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'Glad to meet a proud S'porean'. Print Edition | Subscribe