One nation, many parties

One nation, many parties

Forget the stereotypes. When Insight asked people how they would love to mark Singapore's 50th anniversary next year, the ideas - from Ah Beng parties to an Instagram cafe crawl - show a different, creative and caring side to the so-called conformist, unemotional Singaporean. Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh and Walter Sim report.


1. Void deck picnic

"When I think of Singapore, I straightaway think of hawker food and void decks," says Mr Ang C.K., 52, who is self-employed. "So I want to invite all the people in my block to buy their favourite hawker food, and we can have a picnic together at the void deck." What's your favourite? "Satay! No, carrot cake. Or nasi lemak? Aiyah, I eat everything, lah!"

2. Durian party

Singapore Kindness Movement chief William Wan hopes to work with other voluntary groups to hold a durian party for lovers of the pungent fruit.

"We will have our favourite durians and sing all our National Day songs," he says. Proceeds will, of course, go to charity.

3. 50 fishes for a feast

"I will catch 50 fishes! Then we will cook them and have one big makan with our neighbours," says angler Ahmad Kasim, 50.

"Like real only!" his friend mutters, having been dipping their lines into the murky waters of a Jurong East canal for two hours.

"You don't believe?" retorts Mr Ahmad Kasim. "Then next year you do the cooking!"

4. Singapore-themed cocktails

Banker Melvin Chua, 30, says it will be fun to hold a house party with a few friends at home, where they can "experiment" and create cocktails out of uniquely local ingredients. What if someone concocts something out of durian?

He replies: "That's what the whole challenge is about!"

5. A special ice cream flavour

For Singapore's 49th birthday, home-grown ice cream chain Udders has a new flavour - "Mari Kita", red velvet and cream cheese ice cream with red velvet brownie mix-ins.

But for the Big 50, a "very special" flavour is on the cards - "Preferably something zesty and zingy to signify that Singapore at 50 years young - not old - is full of life and promise and unexpected surprises!" says director Wong Peck Lin, 43.

6. Visit 50 cafes in one day

Thick-rimmed glasses and artfully trimmed facial hair? Check. Found sipping coffee at a Tiong Bahru cafe, poring over a copy of Monocle magazine? Check.

"Am I speaking in my capacity as a hipster?" he asks, waving a hand dismissively when asked his name (too mainstream, perhaps?). He has a bow tie on, with shirt buttoned at the collar. "Maybe I'll visit 50 cafes in 24 hours next year and document it on Instagram. Do you think SG50 will fund me?"

7. Bake Singapore a cake

"I just picked up baking this year," says Madam Sally Chan, 52, waving a plastic bag containing three newly purchased books on baking. "Maybe I can make something - a red-and-white kueh lapis (layered cake) next year?"

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