Tuesday 24 November 2015


Singapore Presentation

I asked to observe J's class for a day, but the teacher asked me to make a presentation on Singapore - nothing comes free in this world ;-P

But I went overboard... with my over zealousness, my aim of 10 slides became 100 slides. I managed to cut down to... hmmm... 80 slides.

But since I love Singapore so much, I do it with pleasure, heart and passion. I have already enticed a friend of J to visit Singapore. So I am taking the opportunity to market Singapore and to entice more of his classmates to visit Singapore :-)

Well besides that, this presentation is more for me. A snap shot of Singapore in my heart and memories in years to come. It is a pictorial presentation that captures a little about:

1. The geography of Singapore in relation to Denmark
2. The history of Singapore and its beginning
3. The society, its festivals, cultures and tradition
4. The local food.
5. Sight-seeing places that we love and recommend
6. How Singapore celebrate its National Day

The price I paid for this project? Many late nights, skipped meals and skipped time with J. I do regret, but I have the tendency to work day and night to bring something into fruition. I am glad that this is completed, so that I can now give my family and J my full attention.

If you are a Singaporean overseas and need to prepare a presentation for your children's school, feel free to take a few from mine if you wish. I have spend so much time compiling the pictures, I might as well share it :-)

You can download the powerpoint presentation here.

It takes 12 hours of direct flight from Denmark to Singapore. It can take up to 15 hours if you have to transit.

Singapore is often compared to Bornholm in terms of size. The size of Bornholm is 588 sq. km. The size of Denmark is 43,094 sq. km. Thus Singapore is only 1.7% of Denmark in terms of physical size! But the roughly the same population size of 5.5 million people live in Singapore! It is one of the most dense countries in the world.

You can compare Singapore to New York City, which is slightly bigger than Singapore with 789 sq. km. New York has a population of 8.9 million.

Singapore aspire to be the Switzerland of the East in the 80s. Today, its GDP per capita exceeds the Swiss by 45%. It is the 3rd richest country in the world - behind Qatar (133,040 USD) and Luxembourg (100,779 USD). However, most of its wealth is unfortunately, very unevenly distributed. It is mainly contributed by the world's high net worth individuals who have chosen to "settle" or have a "holiday house" in Singapore. So although they hold PR or citizenship status, they are essentially foreigners or foreign-owned. Having said that, there are quite a number of high net worth Singaporeans and local millionaires, although the wealth as said, is very unevenly distributed, compared to the more egalitarian Denmark.

Literacy rate is just behind Denmark, which has a literacy rate of 97 %.

Life expectancy in Singapore is 3rd highest in the world, just behind Monaco (89,52 yeras old) and Japan (84.74 years old). Singapore has definitely done well thanks to the excellent health care in the last 30 years. Hopefully this will be maintained and improved further.

Singapore river is where the island's civilisation started. All trade and goods passed into Singapore rivers, and the rows of shop houses in the pictures are actually go-downs. These buildings are preserved in what the present day called Boat Quay.

The coolies below were mainly from China and India, and they helped load and unload goods when boats arrived at the Singapore river. They are the pioneers of Singapore. It is their sweat and blood that enabled Singapore to prosper, including the enterprising Chinese merchants of those days. The majority of Singaporean population traces their roots back to these coolies. These coolies had a hard life, but they were extremely hard-working. This is still the virtue known of the Singaporeans today.

At the top right corner, you can see how it looked like in the olden days. The river was really dirty and smelly. It has been cleaned up, as Singapore developed and become more affluent by the Singapore government, a project spear-headed by our then Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

Singapore was founded as a British colony in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles. Singapore fought for independence together with Malaysia, only to be expelled by Malaysia in 1962. Singapore gained its independence in 1965, led by the then Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, who is known as the founding father of modern Singapore.

Here is a little more about the history of Singapore in a time-line.

This is the flag of Singapore and what it signifies.

The orchid named "Vanda Miss Joaquim" is the national flower of Singapore.

The Merlion stands guarding the gate of the Singapore River.

Mr. FECS "drinking" from the Merlion ;-P

Singapore is a multi-racial country and we pride ourselves for living together in peace and harmony. This is really precious that we should not take for granted.

The Chinese in Singapore celebrates Chinese New Year with a month of light-up in Chinatown.

Lion dance is a must have during Chinese New Year in Singapore, as it signifies bringing in the prosperity. Can you spot who the last lion is :-)?

It is a tradition for all Chinese families to have the all too important Reunion Dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. One of the dishes that we cannot do without is the Yu Sheng. It is best described as a kind of salad, with sweet, sour and savory taste all in one. The higher you toss the fishes, the more it is supposed to bring in prosperity.

The children dress in new clothes on the first day of Chinese New Year and go visiting their eldest with their parents to pay respect.

The elders give a red packet containing money to the children. This is the best part I like as a child.

When we come home at night or the next morning, we will be counting our "harvest" from that day. Here our Little FECS is counting his "harvest" of red packets.

We celebrated our 50 years of nation building this year.

What we achieved today is thanks to Sir Stamford Raffles, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, our pioneers and the people of Singapore. May we have the next 50 years of peace and prosperity to come.


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