Celebrating National Day: How overseas S'poreans are carving out their own slice of home

Singaporeans living in the United States, Australia and Britain share how they are marking the nation's birthday.

Celebrating National Day: Community in California pulls together amid crisis

In April last year, with the coronavirus outbreak worsening in the United States, the Singaporean community in California came together to address their concerns about school and workplace closures, access to healthcare, and the rising level of anti-Asian sentiment.

This was accomplished through initiatives by SingaporeConnect, a social club for Singaporeans in the Silicon Valley region.

An official support group was set up with the help of the Singapore Consul-General in San Francisco and Singapore Global Network, a branch of the Economic Development Board that seeks to connect Singaporeans living overseas.

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Celebrating National Day: Battling homesickness in Perth with food, friendship

Mr Fozzil Jaffar, who is a regional manager at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, used to return to Singapore four to five times a year for work.

With travel restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 46-year-old Singaporean, his Malaysian wife and 19-month-old son have not been home for almost two years, and he has been hit with a strong bout of homesickness.

"I miss Singapore badly, especially my family. The food my mum prepares is my favourite thing. And it is good to just be with my family in our living room in Singapore or go out for a meal with them," he said.

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Celebrating National Day: Tucking into chicken rice in London for a taste of home

This National Day, Ms Trishna Goklani, who has lived in the United Kingdom for the last five years, will be having a celebratory meal of chicken rice.

"If I don't manage to cook it from scratch, I'll head straight down to Mei Mei London, one of my favourite places to have a taste of home," said the 27-year-old, who works as a digital and social lead at an online independent marketplace, referring to a restaurant serving Singaporean cuisine.

She first arrived in London in 2016 to pursue a degree in fashion journalism at the University of the Arts London.

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Celebrating National Day: Festivities to add cheer in Canberra

University student Grace Lim has been living in Canberra for the past five years, and still holds on tightly to her identity as a Singaporean.

Due to restrictions on international travel, the 19-year-old international security undergraduate will celebrate National Day in the Australian capital with about 50 of her Singaporean and non-Singaporean friends on Aug 21 - when the Republic's postponed National Day Parade will be held.

Ms Lim heads the Australian National University Singapore Students' Association, which will organise the festivities. The organisation has also arranged sports and cultural events for their members during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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