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Thursday, August 09, 2007

42nd National Day Water Parade

Singapore celebrates its 42nd National Day today at the Marina Bay. To me, it's funny that we are "rediscovering" water activities. I remember when I was much younger, someone remarked that Singaporeans are probably good at swimming because we live on an island. I don't remember who said that, but it was really ironic. Though we live on an island, most of us swim in a swimming pool!

With the National Stadium being torn down and the Parade not scheduled to be at the Padang for another three years, there was a need for a new venue. I remember that some Parades used to be held at regional football stadiums, but I guess those aren't good enough any more. After all, Singapore is rich, why hold a grand celebration at a paltry location?

Thus, enter the Bay, especially with the recent re-excitement over water. Water sports at reservoirs and the rivers are becoming popular. The Marina Bay will be blocked off to become a freshwater reservoir (though with global warming, a lot of water will evaporate off). So why not have the Parade at a watery location too?

The hype machine has been in overdrive in the last two months, especially about the floating platform, which is apparently the largest in the world. Keppel Corporation, a local company, has the unique distinction of being the largest oil rig builder in the world. Not bad for a company based in a country that has no oil fields! Anyhow, it was apparently this expertise that was tapped to construct the platform.

Whatever it is, it looks like this will be a unique Parade... as they all are. But I won't be watching it "live". I'm attending a church friend's wedding and have been tasked with recording the ceremony. I'll probably catch the repeat telecast of the Parade next week.

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