By Dylan Ng Hiap Jun (21J04) and Lim Xin Jie (21J09)
As the month of August rolls in, the entire nation enters a celebratory mood. National Day, besides being an opportunity for us to look back at our historical milestones, has always been about enshrining the values that makes us one, be it through songs or dance performances.
How was celebrating National Day like in RV?
National day address (Pic credits: RV photography)
Due to COVID restrictions, our National Day Programme was mostly confined to the classroom, with the various performances being prerecorded. These performances were wide ranging, featuring River Valley Guitar Ensemble, River Valley Street Dance, Wushu and many RVians who, through their effusive rendition of National Day songs, added to the warm and lively atmosphere.
RVGE (Pic credits: phung moe youtube)
As with any celebration, the objective of NDP is never detached from the idea of community and togetherness. This was perhaps best exemplified in the sing-along medley that showcased teachers, students and even migrant workers singing their hearts out at our school’s recording booth.
“It was breath-taking to see how both RVians and the frontline workers are willing to perform for the celebration together as it is a rare opportunity to collaborate with our amazing frontline workers for the performance,” Organizing Committee Vice Chairperson, Chua Yin Ern of 21J13, remarked.
Snacks from RV Alumni! (Pic credits: RV photography)
The plethora of snacks, gifted to us by our alumni, was also received with gratitude. This is corroborated by Yin Ern: “Our alumni put in lots of effort to provide RVians with a wide variety of snacks and beverages during the celebration which was extremely heartwarming as I could feel how the RV community came together through the RV family spirit that we have in all of us.”
When asked about the value of celebrating in school amidst all the restrictions, she responded: “I think that celebrating NDP as a school gives RVians a chance to all come together and be proud of our nation for coming this far and staying united especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It lets us feel a sense of happiness and warmth that we are celebrating our nation’s independence along with the teachers, friends and non-teaching staff that care for and support us in school.”
The Organising Committee
What goes on behind the scenes is certainly notable too, given all the restrictions. The challenges, according to Yin Ern, included “maintain[ing] communication between the different committees to make sure everyone was on the same page (as all of our meetings were held online)” and adapting to the “last minute changes which resulted in many planned activities being cancelled”.
In spite of the challenges, the Organising Committee remained unfazed, which allowed the programme to run smoothly in the end. “I am happy to say that the OC was able to persevere and continue to move forward in coming up with new plans so that the celebration would be a successful one.”
National Day Parade - the highlights
The NDP that took place last Saturday, was, needless to say, a scaled down version of the previous ones, with only about 1000 spectators. They comprised frontliners, essential workers and community volunteers who were given the tickets in recognition for their contribution to the fight against COVID-19.
Something worth mentioning about this year’s NDP, apart from the breathtaking vocals of our local singers and the stoic contingents of the SAF that have always been an indispensable part of NDP, is the 14 minute animated film weaved between performances.
It told the story of how six characters, all of whom were inspired by real people in our community, overcame adversity to achieve their dreams. Chan Kai Sing Natalie of 21J08 expressed that she was entranced by the animation as it “showcased how Singapore’s film industry actually has the ability to produce such high quality animations”. Furthermore, it “presented a unique perspective of Singapore as it highlighted the different circumstances we are in”.
The 6 characters of the film: Zubir, Alisha, Mdm Tan, Shawn, Daisy, Jeremy
Home is where the heart is
If anything, this year’s National Day celebrations has certainly taught us that home transcends physical boundaries, and is, above anything else, about connecting with our family and loved ones--those who stay with us through thick and thin.