Happy 49th Birthday Singapore!

Celebrating your 49th Birthday might sound old to some, for a nation that is celebrating 49th Birthday, it’s still a young nation. This young nation is Singapore, celebrating her 49th Birthday today on the 9th August 2014. Today, as I took a step back, reflecting back over the years that I called Singapore home since the day I was born and taking a step forward, looking ahead into the future. Many many many things/landscapes/society has changed over the past 49 years of independence. Reading back my posts in 2012 and 2013 on my National Day posts, it was filled with a sense of nostalgia too.

As a young nation, growing and opening up bit by bit, slowly over the years, with the help and proliferation of social media platforms and channels. It will still need to take more time to be more mature, be more open and be more tolerant. There were many times and probably most recently, we had a lot of frustrations, stress, anger, selfishness that spilled over to the community, revealing the ugly scenes in our community. Things are not perfect, let’s be honest and open about it. While things/processes/steps are taking place to improve, it still needs time.

The social media sites published a number of interesting articles in lieu of Singapore’s 49th Birthday, 1 year more to the Jubilee 50th Year in 2015. Here are some of the articles title and their links –

The few articles strike a deep chord in me, nostalgia and my early childhood memories brought me to “go back in time”, to go on my personal journey to photograph and document, old places, memories and things/areas to be gone forever. This also came at a time when I took a few steps back and said to myself, not to be driven by chasing of monetary assets sometimes fuel by greed and wants. It was also like getting back into the flora and fauna, the beauty of the outdoors.

Nostalgia is a pretty big matter/topic in my humble personal opinion because our relentless and furious pace of development resulted in our loss of identity, culture, history and heritage. The pace was pretty fast in the past 10 years and that may be why people started to feel for the losses and started to do something about preserving memories and places in Singapore. I am happy and honoured that I am able to play my small part in documenting and photographing Singapore’s Old Places, memories, history and heritage, through my humble collection of stories and photographs here on my Flickr collection and my photography website.

Nostalgia, can be a double-edged sword too, from the TODAY article. It’s inevitable and the truth that we need to grow, improve and develop for the future generations and not live in a world that are years behind. If we are in a world 20-30 years ago, we will not be able to match the level and connectivity of the current world economies today. The key topics for future discussion are likely to be

– Where do we strike a balance between preservation and growth?

– How many can we preserve without compromising our growth?

As we all take a step towards SG50, our jubilee year in 2015, the discussions and involvement by everybody in Singapore are important and crucial while Singapore grows and mature in the coming years/decades ahead.

Singapore is not perfect, nobody is perfect, no country is perfect. We had grown and prospered in Singapore, let’s not take things for granted. Together with everybody’s involvement, from the person on the streets to the civil servants, we can make a difference and grow Singapore stronger together.

Happy 49th Birthday Singapore!

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