Parade with 1,000 global friends

Parade with 1,000 global friends
Performers from 15 countries and regions participating in the Chingay 2015 to celebrate Singapore's 50th bitrhday, during a Chingay media lunch on 14 January 2015.

SINGAPORE - This year's Chingay will have largest number of foreign performers ever.

Next month's Chingay will feature 1,000 performers from overseas, the highest number in the 43-year history of the parade.

A total of 19 cultural troupes from 15 countries and regions will take part in the annual street procession to mark Chinese New Year. This year's theme is "We love SG", to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday.

"What's a birthday without celebrations with friends?" said Mr Ang Hak Seng, chief executive of the People's Association, the parade's organiser.

"We're happy that 1,000 international friends are joining us this year, up from 500 last year."

First-time performers at the event include a warrior dance troupe from Rwanda and 40 young people from the Stamford American International School, who will put up a song and dance item.

Troupes from Turkey and Thailand have specially choreographed dances for the parade, while Chinese cities Suzhou and Tianjin will each have an 18m-long float representing their cities - two of at least 15 floats to be on display.

"Chingay is also a platform for us to commemorate our diplomatic relationships, particularly to deepen our people-to-people relationships through cultural exchange," said Mr Ang at a media briefing yesterday attended by representatives of various embassies and high commissions.

This year, Singapore marks 50 years of diplomatic ties with India and Thailand, 40 years with South Korea and 25 years with China, he noted.

It was because of the good relationship between Tianjin and Singapore that the Chinese city decided to take part in this year's Chingay, said Mr Zhao Yongli, a cultural manager from the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, which is a joint government project between China and Singapore.

The parade will be broadcast on television in 26 countries and regions, and is expected to reach 35 million viewers across Asia.

At least 80,000 tourists are expected to attend the event, double last year's number, said Mr Nah Juay Hng, chairman of the parade's executive committee.

This year's Chingay is set to be the biggest and youngest since the first parade in 1973. More than half of its 15,000 performers and volunteers are aged below 35.

The main show will be at the F1 Pit Building on Feb 27 and 28, when local singer-songwriter JJ Lin will sing the finale song Dreams.

There will also be a street carnival in Orchard Road on March 1.

The month-long event will see the parade visiting different places in the heartland until March 28.

This article was first published on Jan 15, 2015.
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