70 walks to celebrate Singapore's birthday, including one featuring a variety of footwear

SINGAPORE - Cha kiak (red wooden clogs), slippers and high heels are not your average comfy walking shoes.

But they are among the types of footwear that young people and residents in Teck Ghee will wear for a National Day community walk when they will trek 800m around their neighbourhood on the morning of Aug 9.

Although the distance is not far, Teck Ghee residents have decided the walk should be done in a variety of footwear to represent unity in diversity, which is this year's theme for the celebrations.

The walk led by youngsters is one of 70 being organised by the People's Association (PA) and grassroots organisations leading up to the PA's community National Day celebrations.

More than 200 celebratory community National Day programmes are organised this year across Singapore. The community walks will be led by young people for the first time.

"(Young people) are the anchor for the society's future," said Mr Goh Jia Hao, chairman of the PA's youth wing and one of the organisers of the Teck Ghee community walk. "(Young people) will add the vibrancy and energy into the walk."

PA chief executive director Ang Hak Seng said: "People from all races will come together as good neighbours, as good friends."

It is a symbolic way to show people from different walks of life coming as one, said volunteer Kassandra D.S. Joseph, 24. " We want to bring Singaporeans together," she added.

Another celebration that will showcase diversity is the Yew Tee-Limbang community walk, in which residents are invited to bring along their pets. Parrots and dogs are among the animals expected to take part and participants will wear red to celebrate the nation's birthday.

Corporate partners are also joining in. Restaurant and catering firm Creative Eateries is organising a curry cooking session with needy residents of Admiralty.

With dishes including Indian spicy fish curry and Eurasian devil's curry on the menu, the firm's marketing and business development director Bonnie Wong said: "Curry is a dish that reminds you of home."