This year represents a huge shift in the theme and environment surrounding our National Day celebrations. 2015 brought SG50, and with it the warm reminiscence of a Singapore that most of us never felt, a simulacra of sorts. SG50 built up appreciation of our past, and made us look back and respect the people who have built up this nation for us.
SG51, however, has an entirely new premise and purpose. It instead looks into the future for our little island, and sets in place new goals for the road ahead. For all of that to lie in this generation’s hands, it seems a little unnerving. But, as with many great stories, the greatest feats come from facing the unknown, and we are very much heading towards it, with our strongest foot forward.
The celebrations were about to begin, and all of us came donning the signature red top that we all associate to National Day. Red in the Singapore flag represents the equality of man, and the universal brotherhood that we all share with all other Singaporeans.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing coincidences was one that isn’t related to National Day at all, but rather the recent release of an application that had everyone excited. The official debut of Pokemon Go clashed with the National Day Celebrations, and the Victoria Junior College Hall turned into a Pokestop, one which convinced many Victorians to turn up early to advance their progress at the game. It was thus perhaps unsurprising that this was the one assembly which most Victorians were early to.
(Photo by: Zhu Bingjie, 16S47)
Soon, the celebrations began, and it began with the traditional Flag Party. It was led by a Victorian, who marched on stage together with the National, and the School Flag. They were also accompanied by the house flags behind them. The commands were shouted with pride and vigour, and they were followed by the Recollections speech that we have all gone through before. Although previously I thought nothing of it, I recently took a different stance and really started looking into the meanings and the story behind recollections. It looks into our forefathers’ struggles and really entails us the past of Singapore, and reminds us why we have so much to be grateful for in our little red dot.
So, after all of that, it was time for the CCA Leaders’ Investiture. This would be the first time we were doing such an event, as previously, there was no CCA Leaders’ Investiture. The current leaders would be stepping down and handing the baton to a new generation of leaders. After all of this, we were then treated to a series of short performances from the CCA Leaders.
Firstly, we were greeted to a video from the Sports CCA leaders, as they creatively acted out the lyrics of “Stand Up For Singapore” on their respective courts and fields. Shortly after that, we watched a slow arrangement of “Home” performed by the Performance Arts CCA leaders, as the choir, band, orchestra and dance performed together in a burst of synergy. Finally, there was a short quiz from the Clubs and Societies, followed by a sing-along session. We started with that song we love to hate, “One Singapore” — aka “Wooh ho-oh^oh! Wooh ho-oh, oh, oh!” Regardless of what we may have felt about the song, Victorians all across the hall jumped in to excitedly sing together. This was then followed by a medley of songs throughout the years, ending with the evergreen “Home”, as Victorians formed rows and swayed, basking in the atmosphere, as seen in the photo at the top of this page.
(Photo by: Ethan Lie, 16S54)
At this point, the celebrations hit a climax. Students broke their formations, with some rushing off to sing with their friends, and others shifting from their lines to form circles, all thoroughly energised and full of national pride. (We have to point out, however, that some of the national flags given out were strewn around the floor, and potentially stepped on — that would be really disrespectful to our flag, so Victorians do bear this in mind next time please!)
After all of that, we ended with some mass dances from the new MADICs (MAss Dance ICs) from the 33rd Students’ Council. It seems only fitting that we end a day celebrating the Victorian Spirit through dance. We are, after all, Victoria in Singapore.
Article by: Jarod Zulkifly Yikai, 16A11
Cover photo and additional reporting by: Ryan Ch’ng, 16S47