Thanks to the brother-in-law, we managed to grab tickets to watch the rehearsal for National Day Parade. This year, the theme is Onward as One to call upon Singapore to move forward together. I must say, each year, the theme has been revolving around being united. The slogan has been modified but the meaning had never changed.
It had never been easy to get tickets for a family of four, so I grabbed this chance. We set off early for going there by preparing to have lunch first and make our way slowly to the Padang. The walk was long due to the way the crowd management was done.
Without crowd control, I believe the way the human mind works, a straight line would have obstructed the streets and roads causing chaos. The NDP team has done a great job of deploying the army to manage the directions along the way. I saw a few volunteers with lanyards so that we know who to ask for directions.
After the bag checks and ticket verifications, we were directed to the fun pack booths. There are 4 designs and with 4 tickets, we should have 4 designs but I lacked the foresight at that moment and in the end, we had 3 different designs.
So, we had the seats in Blue sector. The way the seating worked was that we surrounded the stage. Blue, Green and Yellow sectors were enclosing the stage while Red sector was facing the stage. Obviously, it had the best view and the least number of seats available.
Throughout the rehearsal, we saw the performances and of course, our favourite announcer voice announcing the arrival of the parliament and ending each announcement with “This is a simulation.” Of course it is, how can we expect the parliament to show up at each rehearsal, right?
The highlights of the NDP had always been the Red Lions parachuting, the Fly Pass and the aerial display of the Air Force. Those were what we could not view much at the Blue sector because it happened at the back of our heads.
The fireworks were also happening behind Blue and Green sectors mostly. My kids were not impressed since they could not view much either. Twisting our necks to watch the large screens and the live views were not doing well.
Maybe due to my generation, I could not really sing along to the new NDP songs. Obviously, the crowd’s favourite songs were “Chan Mali Chan” and “Munnaeru Vaalibaa“. These songs are not the usual theme but are part of the patriot songs. The livelier versions often get me dancing and singing along.