Before the SG50 celebrations kicked into gear last year, I wrote about the complementary need for reflexivity and contemplation, with the encouragement of conversations for instance.
Read “SG50: Of Celebration And Contemplation“, and here’s a short excerpt:
“Thus far about three of the five million is devoted to more than 100 of these projects, with 250 proposals “being reviewed or being refined”, as reported early this year (ST, Jan. 4). The private sector has chimed in with even more money and resources, and in this vein the obligation to do something SG50-related is hard to deny, as the site “Simi Sai Also SG50” has picked up. Yet damned if you do, damned if you do not. Initiatives could be planned with the best of intentions, and in fact many – the yearlong SG50 Care and Share Movement, for instance – give back to communities through fund-raising and volunteerism.
These celebrations are in order, even as some lament the lack of spontaneity. The problem I figure lies not with the perceived “superficiality”, “short-sightedness”, or even the state-driven nature of these celebrations, but with the need for greater reflexivity and contemplation. We speak of the past fifty years with great pride and tinges of nostalgia, but less is said about different narratives or the ambiguity of the next fifty years. The value of celebrations – in the words of Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah – may be “an intangible thing” (ST, Jun. 5), yet they present opportunities to take stock and make plans.”