betty August 7, 2022

SINGAPORE – Nasi lemak, a comfort food that reminds one of home, tuning in to celebrations here and a quiz on the nation’s history.

These are among what is planned as Singaporeans overseas gather over the week to celebrate the nation’s 57th birthday.

In Denmark, Ms Idah Khan O’Neill, 40, is upping the Singapore connection with a quiz on the Republic’s history and culture for a National Day potluck on Aug 13 for about 30 people, mostly members of a social group for Singaporeans.

The research coordinator, who has worked in Denmark for almost 10 years, said: “I also got some friends visiting from Singapore to bring some gifts for the game prizes.”

Also joining the gathering is Lego designer Chee Woon Tze, 47, who moved to Denmark six years ago with his wife and three sons for his dream job.

He said of the social group, which meets for festive gatherings like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali: “It’s a support system for us as newcomers to Denmark can ask for tips on how to settle down here, how to get certain ingredients for Singapore dishes here. It’s hard to get Singapore food here.

“There’s also a sense of familiarity when everyone speaks Singlish during gatherings.”

Australian Andaleeb Akhand, 32, last lived in Singapore from 1999 to 2002, but developed such a strong affection for Singapore that he is helping to organise a gathering in Sydney to live-stream the National Day Parade on Aug 9.

The senior conference producer said: “I lived in Singapore for a few years because my father was there for work, but I made many good friends in Singapore and we’ve maintained the friendship until this day.

“Singapore is a remarkable country that managed to make a place for itself in this world even though it’s a small country.”

The event is organised by Temasek Club (New South Wales) and three Singapore students’ associations of universities in Sydney, and is supported by the Singapore Global Network (SGN).

SGN is a branch of the Economic Development Board which seeks to connect Singaporeans living overseas.

“Participants will get a dinner box with the option of nasi lemak or nasi goreng and eat dinner together before the live streaming. We’ll also decorate the room with balloons and streamers for a festive mood,” said Mr Akhand, who said he hopes to get at least 100 people for the event.

Programme manager Teo Sze Ying, 32, who moved to New York just six months ago, found that she had to build her social circle from scratch when she arrived.

She ended up joining a group on messaging platform Telegram with more than 1,000 people from Singapore.