Singapore Soka Association Performs in National Day Parade
On August 9, the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) participated in Singapore's National Day Parade (NDP) 2011, at Marina Bay--an event attended by some 30,000 people. The event marked the country's 46th year of independence.
The performance was titled "Majulah! The Singapore Spirit" and was a musical in five acts. In Act 2, titled "Birth'', a total of 510 SSA members showcased the ways of life of Singapore's early immigrants, through dance performances and music from around the world. Performers dressed in costumes representing different ethnic groups, as well as food items and daily goods reflecting a melting pot of Singaporean culture back in the early 19th century.
Some 40 SSA women members were also invited to perform in Act 4--"Progress"--depicting the development of Singapore from 1970 to the 2000s. Michelle Lek, SSA's chairperson for this year's parade, said the event was, to her, "a great display of unity in diversity, in accordance with the Buddhist principle of 'many in body, one in mind,'" as everyone came together to ensure the success of the event.
On August 15, four SSA youth representatives participated in a focus group discussion, organized by the People's Association Youth Movement (PAYM), at the People's Association Headquarters to discuss key points in the Singaporean Prime Minister's National Day Rally Speech given on August 14.
The focus group brought together some 150 young people from different youth organizations, ranging in age from 15-35. Together, they discussed current issues within their country, ranging from economics to education, and national policies. One SSA participant commented that the discussion group was a rewarding experience and said "I think it was a good platform to hear other youths' concerns and views on national issues." Youth were divided into five discussion groups, some lasting over two hours.
[Adapted from an article in the September 9, 2011, issue of SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association; photos courtesy of SSA]