About a month ago, I stumbled upon Stories.sg, a collection of personal letters by bloggers to Singapore in tribute to her 43rd birthday this Saturday.
Firstly, I was surprised by how few letters there were. Just around 20ish entries for a tech-savvy population of a couple of million.
Secondly, I was surprised that most of these letters contained more or less the similar theme: I really want to be proud of my country, but there’s a lot going against it. While some were more optimistic and others a lot more confrontational in general, there was this sense of not knowing what our national identity is about, and not knowing whether the kind of lives we lead here are sustainable.
Perhaps it’s the more “emo” types who would actually bother with a website like this, and hence the content being so similar. But if anything, I just feel a little less alone after reading this website. Thank God, it’s not just me.
Your constant drone of money, meritocracy and contradictions you fed me over and over again — they went away. I could finally hear myself think and reason. Without you, I was whole. Stormie
You’re more than people just scraping by, dreaming of money and five-star hotels. You’re a hell of a lot more than just a good air-conditioning system. You’re everybody, not just the dream citizen; you’re the Malay kids skipping school, hanging out at Peninsula Plaza in black jeans and trucker caps. You’re the unemployed kopitiam uncle with his songbirds. You’re the schoolgirl holding hands with her classmate, hoping the teacher doesn’t see. You’re every one of them, but for some reason you just won’t acknowledge this. You like to hold on to this idea of you being this clean, perfectly efficiently city, when really it’s the dirt that makes you who you are. Zing
I actually contributed an entry here, pounded out in 15 minutes during a particularly bad day and I just needed to get things out of my system. I’m not sure how much of a National Day present this is to Singapore, but hey, if anything, at least I am telling the truth.