Thursday, 13 August 2015
What Singapore Means to Me
What Singapore Means to Me
Singapore is HOME to me because....
1) I can be who I want to be, no matter who I am...
In Singapore, Meritocracy is not just an idea but a way of life. As a daughter of a plumber, my father always told me to study hard when I was young. He told me that if I studied hard enough, I could be a doctor or a lawyer. Well, although I didn't want to be a doctor or lawyer, I studied hard anyway because I saw how difficult life was for my father and my family when I was young. Eventually, I graduated from National University of Singapore and became a teacher. My two other sisters, became teachers too. And my parents are proud of us. My father often boasts to his friends that he as a plumber has 2 graduate daughters and all became professionals (teachers).
So, Singapore is a place where my children can grow up to be who they want to be regardless of their family's background. My son said he wants to be Prime Minister(for now. haha.) and this is not impossible. Mr Goh Chok Tong comes from a humble background and his mother was a teacher.
I'm thankful that in Singapore, we can be who we want to be, no matter who we are, as long as we work hard.
2) I can have a better life if I work hard.
Interestingly enough, over the National Day long weekend, my mother in law and her sisters brought my family to visit her birth place and her old house. She brought us back to St John's island where she was born and lived till she was 16 years old when she moved to Singapore to a rented one room place.
She told us the story of how she owned her first 2 room HDB flat when she started working and earning. She told us that it was the happiest moment of her life to finally own a home.
We visited her first owned HDB flat at Jalan Bukit Merah. The current owner of the home was so nice to have invited us into her house. She could still remember my mother in law who sold the house to her. In the house, my mother in law recounted how poor her family were and how her whole family of 4 siblings and her 2 children had to live together in a small house. Yet, they were happy to live in a small flat which they owned.
From a 2 room flat in Jalan Bukit Merah, they moved to a 5 room flat in Jurong West. She continued to work hard and moved into a condominium and eventually a terrace house which she is currently living in. She was a humble teacher and yet, her story tells my children that if they are willing to work hard, life can be better.
I'm glad she brought my children on the trip and back to her old flat so that her story can be pass on.
3) I can walk in the streets alone late at night.
Security is something most Singaporeans take for granted. We walk the streets late at night, feeling safe and unworried. And this is what I am thankful of. Many a times, when I speak to my hairdresser from across the causeway, she always praises Singapore for its security. She says she loves living here because she is free to go around anytime. I recall once when I spoke to her after she went back home for a week, she told me she couldn't wait to come back to Singapore because she was afraid back at her hometown. She told me she was so afraid that she didn't dare to go out after 4pm. She said she is used to the security here and she feels safe in Singapore. She often serves as a reminder to me that Singapore's peace and security cannot be taken for granted. There are still crimes in Singapore, but at least, we can take public transports without fear. We can come safely back home at 12 midnight. Most importantly, we do not have to feel frightened when we are out in the streets.
4) I can sleep well every night, knowing that we are well protected.
As a history teacher, I know that peace in a country is difficult to achieve and to maintain the peace, it is even harder. Singapore have been peaceful ( without war or major conflict) for a long time. Every night, we sleep well in our own home without fear. We know that we will wake up and go to school or work just like any other normal day. This is what I am thankful for every single day.
5) I have the freedom.
Singaporeans have the freedom to practice their religion without fear. We have the freedom to speak responsibly. Our children can go to school and we don't have to be worried about their safety and we are sure no shooting incident will happen. We have the freedom to walk on the safe streets. This is freedom to me and this is home.
6) I have a government which I can trust to run the country.
We sleep well at night because we know that when tomorrow comes, our money will still be in the bank. We know that tomorrow will just be as ordinary as any other day. This is because we have capable people running our country and ensuring that we do not end up like Greece or Northern Ireland. The government may not have done perfectly well. But they have done well. Yes, the MRT is not longer as efficient and it breaks down rather often these days. But let's be thankful that it is around most of the time, transporting Singaporeans everywhere, everyday. Let us be thankful for what we have.
7) Singapore is a place where my children and their children can grow up and have a bright future.
Our grandparents have grown roots in Singapore. Our parents, the trunk and we are the branches with our children, the leaves. Singapore has succeeded. It is no longer that poor orphan child that nobody wants. For this, I sincerely thank Mr Lee Kuan Yew, his peers and our pioneers for working so hard to build Singapore.
Today, Singapore is a successful city where my children and their children can grow up safely. Their future is bright because they are born in Singapore.
Isn't this what home is about?
Home is a place where we come to rest when we are tired. It is a place where we know we are safe. Home is a place where our family and friends are. It is a place where children can roam free and grow up free.
As a family of Singaporeans, in our home - Singapore, let us be thankful for what we have. Let us cherish the present and build a brighter future together. This is what Singapore means to me. It means everything to me because it is my home.
As a mother, I will do everything I can to raise my children as young Singaporeans (Click to find out why it is important to raise our children up as Singaporeans and how we can do it) who have a strong sense of belonging to our home.
Next mom up...
MummyEd works from home whenever she has the chance to, but with 3 kids of ages 3 5 and 7 years old, those moments are few and far between. She blogs at http://mummyed.wordpress.com and has never been happier to leave the corporate world behind.