Since Singapore’s independence in 1965, she has seen a huge makeover. The old attap houses have been replaced with columns of high rise buildings, while big empty fields are now home to shopping malls bustling with life. In a world where change is the only constant, five things have remained as they are for the past 53 years. And these five things, happen to play significant roles in the lives of many Singaporeans.
No, this one doesn’t beat it, but you can definitely sip it! This standard coffee shop thirst quencher, that brings so much satisfaction especially on a warm Sunday morning is on every drinks stall’s menu. The main (and only) ingredients of this drink are soya bean milk, and chin chow (grass jelly). Preparation is fairly simple - add the chin chow before filling the cup with soya bean milk to the brim. It is best served chilled, though they are people who prefer them warm. The drink is named after Michael Jackson due to its colours - a mixture of black and white. Whoever came up with this ingenious nickname, is either extremely creative or a huge fan of Michael Jackson. Whenever I see black and white, I think of cows.
Kaya Toast with Eggs
Way before Hans’ offered fried egg bacon breakfast sets, our local coffee shops were the hotspots for a toasty breakfast. One of Singaporeans’ favourite local breakfast is none other than the Kaya Toast with Eggs. Having been on the menu since the pioneer generation, the bread is toasted to give a crunchy texture before spreading a layer of kaya, and a slice of butter on it. Served with (usually) two soft boiled eggs, the eggs can be eaten on its own or used to dip the toast. This chicky dish though has no cheeky name.
Having been in the limelight since their first spotting in 2014, the otter families have been a delight to many Singaporeans. Their frequent visit to Singapore’s downtown area has attracted huge crowds of working population gathering at the river banks, just to have a quick view of this delightful bunch. Believed to have vanished in 1970, the resurgence of otters in Singapore has been hailed as a symbolism of our effective greening policies. If we want to see more of the lovely otters, we need to work harder to keep our w-otters safe for them!
The true representation of Singapore for the past 53 years! Unveiled on 3 December 1959, the National Flag consists of two equal horizontal sections, red above white. Red stands for universal brotherhood and equality of man, while white symbolizes everlasting purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the ascendant, and the five stars depict Singapore's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality. For 18 years of our lives, we see the flag soar into the skies. Singapore is a small island, and only when we work together, then can we soar into the skies, and reach for the stars.
Vanda Miss Joaquim var. Agnes
Chosen as Singapore’s national flower in 1981, the pink and purple Vanda Miss Joaquim was prized for its qualities that reflected the characteristics of Singaporeans - vibrant, hardy, and really resilient. A hybrid of Vanda teres, and Vanda hookeriana, the Agnes variation was named after the lady who successfully cultivated the flower. Unlike many other flowers, the Agnes variation blooms throughout the year, so we can see it all year round! Surprise, surprise, Singapore is also the only country that has a hybrid national flower.
This national day, we battle against disposable plastic waste by introducing We, the Ecowarriors of Singapore - a noble movement led by simple people, to create a greener future. Featuring five limited edition designer KeepCups that has been tweaked to represent five simple yet true blue Singaporean icons, each cup serves to remind us to protect the small yet impactful things that are shared by all on this small island. We, the Warrior is all about inspiring Singaporeans to pick up eco-friendly habits this national day not just as a statement, but to indicate the determination to protect the small things that belong to Singapore. They are now available at Shinnpark Shop @ Clarke Quay Central, CK Tangs Orchard & Vivo, The Providore @ OUE Downtown and Foreword Coffee only.
Happy national day, Singapore! Here’s a toast to another year of challenges, advancement, and prosperity.