Singapore National Day Parade Celebrations Include 1,500 SSA Members
On August 9, 2007, Singapore commemorated its 42nd National Day with "Celebrate Singapore: City of Possibilities," a spectacular evening show held at the Marina Bay Floating Stadium, the world's largest floating stage. Some 1,500 Singapore Soka Association (SSA) members performed in the gala celebrations at the invitation of the Singaporean government. President S.R. Nathan, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other government officials attended together with 27,000 citizens. The annual event was broadcast live in four languages on the national television network as well as on radio and the Internet.
This year's venue on the floating stage commanded a panoramic view of the dazzling Singapore skyline and shimmering bay as a backdrop. The five-part show, with segments titled "Sea," "Earth," Sky," "People" and "Fire," began just as the setting sun dyed the ocean a brilliant crimson. In "River of Dreams," 600 SSA performers conveyed the aspirations and dreams of the pioneers who built their country. In "Singa City," 450 SSA youth dancers demonstrated the passion and spirit of singa (the lion), along with giant animal cut-out props inspired by Indonesian shadow puppets and fire dancers twirling balls of flames. In contrast, the serene and tranquil "Eternal Bloom" paid tribute to Singapore's senior citizens with hopes for their eternal blossoming.
In June, when President Nathan visited the SSA Headquarters in Tampines to watch the SSA performers rehearse, he expressed his appreciation to SSA for promoting positive values in Singaporean society. Following the show, Organizing Committee Chair Teo Jing Siong thanked SSA for its cooperation, commending the members as a driving force behind the great success of this year's National Day celebrations.
SSA General Director Ong Bon Chai thanked the SSA members for their months of preparation and hard work, saying the secret to their achievements at the show was their spontaneous, joyful and passionate commitment, derived from their lofty objective of humanity's peace and happiness. He said each individual's effort contributes to society's trust of SSA.
SSA performers remarked that this year's National Day Parade gala provided impetus for their personal growth and development as they challenged to balance rehearsals with their other responsibilities. SSA youth Lin Weizhang shared her enthusiasm, saying, "I am part of Singapore and I want to play my part in its development and progress. I want to contribute to the happiness of my fellow citizens. This, I believe, is what SSA stands for!"
[Adapted from an SSA report and an article in the August 18, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan. Photos courtesy of SSA.]