Friday, June 12, 2015

NDP 2015: Our Golden Jubilee

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This year is going to be a very memorable milestone for Singapore, as we celebrate 50 years of nation building!

One of this year's National Day Parade (NDP) engagement efforts is “A Funpack from Me to You” Project, an initiative that allows Singaporeans to pack a funpack for a fellow Singaporean. Voluntary Welfare Organizations (VWOs) including the Association for Persons with Special Needs, Down Syndrome Association, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, Singapore Association for Mental Health, and Bizlink have come forward to participate in this project. Students from Temasek Junior College (as part of the SAF-Schools Partnership Programme with 3rd Battalion Singapore Guards) and volunteers from the Singapore Soka Association will also be taking part.

Funpacks that are prepared under this project will include a card with a message from the packer, and recipients will be encouraged to reciprocate with a message that can be sent to the packer through their respective organizations.

While every Singaporean and Permanent Resident (PR) household will receive the SG Funpack, spectators at the Padang and Floating Platform will receive the NDP Funpack, which will include additional food and drinks, as well as some interactive items required for the parade.

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The funpacks come in 50 different designs, chosen from the NDP 2015 Funpack Print Design Contest. They are each designed by Singaporeans from all walks of life, including children, pioneers, celebrities, and professional graphic designers. The designs were picked based on how much they would resonate with Singaporeans.

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The funpacks are distributed randomly, and I was given one designed by Jacqueline Simangan, a 14-year-old student. She was inspired by "the harmony and unity of the people in Singapore".

Examples of other designs are local colloquialisms (Relak lah!, Chope!, Shiok!), tin biscuits, HDB block, local delicacies, as well as the iconic dragon playground at Toa Payoh which I used to frequent!

Notable designers include Vernetta Lopez (Producer-Presenter DJ), and Dick Lee (Songwriter).


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Miniature flag and truckers cap (the latter is only found in the NDP Funpack)

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SG Scarf (only found in the NDP Funpack)

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You will also find a commemorative figurine of the Singa Lion in every Funpack, as it is an icon of kindness and graciousness that Singaporeans have grown up with.

There are a total of 15 different designs, but don't worry if you didn't get the design you've been eyeing on! They will be available for sale individually from July onwards at The Kindness Gallery (140 Hill Street #01- 09 Singapore 179369). If you would like to collect a full set Singa figurines, a collector's box set will also be available!

All proceeds of the sale will go to the Singapore Kindness Movement’s Seed Kindness Fund.

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One of the interactive items I find interesting is the LED balloon maraca!

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Simply blow into the nozzle, and turn on the LED light by shaking the balloon!

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Press the nozzle to deflate the balloon.

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The star-shaped balloon maraca is only included in the NDP Funpack, while the round one will be in the SG Funpack.

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Merlion biscuits

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Other items in the funpack includes mineral water, NEWater, packet drink, bread chips, sweets, detergent, instant cereal, wet tissue, poncho, face tattoo, etc.

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Nostalgic snacks and games packs are also included as they are reminiscent of our early years. For snacks, I got a lollipop and haw flakes (I loved these!!). For games, I received Donkey and country erasers. Other items you may otherwise receive are Murukku, chocolate bangle candy, pick up sticks, paper ball, and capteh.

Households can expect to receive instructions on the collection of the SG Funpack through mail by July 2015.

Another initiative would be the "Birthday Wish for Singapore Postcards, which encourages Singaporeans to reflect on what they are thankful for, and write down their well wishes for Singapore. These postcards have also been distributed to all Primary 5 students in Singapore, in partnership with Ministry of Education (MOE). Students from National University of Singapore (NUS) will then use the collected cards to build a birthday cake float structure that will be displayed at the Marina Bay area during the Jubilee Weekend. This float structure will incorporate an EZ-link card donation mechanism, which allows the public to make a donation by tapping their EZ-link card. All proceeds will go to the Community Chest.

With the many other initiatives that are lined up this year leading to the NDP,  it sure feels nostalgic and heartwarming to look back and be thankful for the Singapore we all grew up in.

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