Non-Singaporeans help add to NDP celebrations

Participants performing at the National Day Parade 2019, on Aug 9, 2019.
Participants performing at the National Day Parade 2019, on Aug 9, 2019.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

As Singapore celebrated its 54th birthday, Singaporeans gathered as one to watch the spectacular National Day Parade (NDP) performances by volunteers from various organisations.

Watching from home, I could see the tremendous effort put into the show.

I would like to highlight one of the performers, Mr Nasser Amparna, who is a Filipino.

He was a laboratory technician at the secondary school where I studied.

In a video Mr Amparna posted on YouTube about his NDP experience, he talked about how he had wondered to himself why he was participating in Singapore's NDP since he is a Filipino.

He has earned my respect and admiration as he could easily have spent his time relaxing instead of undergoing NDP rehearsal sessions.

In his video, Mr Amparna also talked about how he had thought that the other volunteers might exclude him during rehearsals, but they all proved to be friendly people.

This inclusiveness is one of the many reasons I am proud to be a Singaporean.

In addition to volunteering to perform, he also talked about how when it came time for the Pledge and National Anthem, he joined in despite not being Singaporean, which to me shows his respect for the country he is in.

Mr Amparna's willingness to help out on Singapore's National Day touched my heart, and I hope to see Singapore highlight more examples of the effort put in by non-Singaporeans on our special day.

Fang Yang Lin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2019, with the headline 'Non-Singaporeans help add to NDP celebrations'. Print Edition | Subscribe