National Day 2019: Patriotic activities to celebrate Singapore instead of watching the NDP

National Day 2019: Patriotic activities to celebrate Singapore instead of watching the NDP

This is home, truly

Text: Ethan Lee

Editor: Aravin Sandran

This year's National Day is extra special. It's not because of the Bicentennial commemoration, by the way ⁠— it's special because, 9 August falls on a Friday this time and the following Monday happens to be Hari Raya Haji. That means it'll be the perfect extra long weekend to stack your annual leaves for that well-deserved break.

Admittedly, the parade is going to be slightly different this time around. Filmmaker Boo Jun Feng has become the youngest creative head in the parade's history; homegrown bubble tea brand LiHo is expected to march as a contingent. Foreign leaders including Malaysia's Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Brunei's Sultan will be in attendence.

But if you're not planning to spend a couple of hours in front of the television watching the parade, here are five other brilliant ways to spend the extra-long National Day weekend.

Discover Singapore's alternative musicians: Fauxe, Kin Leonn, and Of Methodist.

Singapore's music scene is more than just The Sam Willows. In fact, some of the most exciting local music has been produced by under-the-radar artistes such as electronic produce Fauxe, ambient composer Kin Leonn, and queer-pop singer Of Methodist.

Learn about the insidious underbelly of Singapore's mainstream media through veteran journalist PN Balji's new book Reluctant Editor.

PN Balji is an absolute legend. The man has worked in pretty much every local newspaper (Today, The New Paper and The Straits Times) since the 1970s. Released last month, his new 170-page book, Reluctant Editor, is an unflinching behind-the-scenes look at the problematic relationship between Singapore's ruling politicians and media professionals.

National Day 2019: Patriotic activities to celebrate Singapore instead of watching the NDP (фото 1)

Let loose at Singapore's swankiest night club.

Now that you've listened to some new music and read some local literature, you've earned a night out on the town. There's no better place to be seen at the moment than the country's biggest club, Marquee Singapore at MBS. In conjuction with National Day, they'll be launching Marquee Academy, a showcase of local electronic dance music DJs including Jade Rasif.

View Singapore through the beautiful cinematography of these local films on Netflix: A Yellow Bird, A Land Imagined, and Shirkers.

The daily peak-hour commute can make Singapore seem dreary and uninspiring. In an effort to fall back in love with your country, catch these refreshing local movies on Netflix: K. Rajagopal's A Yellow Bird (2016) charts an Indian ex-convict's difficult assimilation back into society; Siew Hua Yeo's A Land Imagined (2018) is an award-winning film noir that revolves around the mysterious disapperance of a foreign construction worker; time travel back to the early 1990s in Sandi Tan's ultra-cool docu-film Shirkers (2018).

Soak up the good vibes at a festive makers' market.

Head down to The Local People's 'I Am Citizen' art market at the former St. Andrew's Mission Hospital to celebrate everything Singapore with local musicians, makers, and craftsmen. There'll be plenty to see, do, and buy: Instagrammable art installations within pockets of the building, an flea market in the carpark, and craft workshops such as block-printing and book-binding.