Thursday, 9 June 2016

NDP 2016 goodie bag packs futuristic feel; 50 Years of National Day Parades Travelling Exhibition

Items include booklet with digital content and LED wristband that can be synchronised with show
By Yeo Sam Jo, The Straits Times, 8 Jun 2016

This year's National Day Parade (NDP) funpack is geared to the future - with an LED wristband that can be synchronised with the show, and a booklet embedded with digital content.

The goodie bag, an NDP staple since 1991, is made of translucent plastic for the first time, in the national colours of red and white.

Waterproof and lightweight, the bag has multiple straps so it can be carried as both a sling bag and haversack. It also comes with an attached cover for those who prefer its contents not be seen.

St Joseph's Institution student Mitchell Peh, 14, said he would carry the bag even after the parade. "I like that it's see-through. It looks cool - something that teenagers would use," he said.



Some 300,000 funpacks will be packed by soldiers from the middle of this month.

To facilitate smooth entry into the National Stadium, this year's parade venue, the bags will be placed at seats instead of collection points, the organisers said yesterday.

Among the highlights of the 18-item pack are interactive objects such as the LED wristband, wirelessly programmed to blink in tandem with the show's lights and sounds, and capable of emitting lights of varying intensity in 16 colours and four modes.

Another highlight is the souvenir booklet, which can activate the free NDPeeps App on mobile devices. Using the app, parade-goers can access images and videos through its augmented reality function.

For instance, a user can view a 3D time-lapse video of the National Stadium's evolution on his phone by aiming its camera at a picture of the domed arena in the magazine.

Military Expert 6 Benny Yong, 39, parade chairman for logistics and finance, said the funpack's futuristic feel is in line with the NDP theme of Building Our Singapore Of Tomorrow.

Referring to the LED wristband, he said: "By leveraging technology, we are able to involve Singaporeans in the show as they collectively play a role in creating massive visual displays. This essentially breaks the barrier between them and the stage, thus providing a truly immersive experience."

Other funpack items include a luggage tag, a flip fan, stick-on tattoos, snacks, a Singapore scarf and a discount booklet.

Singapore's birthday bash this year will mark a return to the National Stadium after 10 years.

There, a mural combining over 50,000 paintings by students and young people, and abstract designs by Singaporean artist Sun Yu-Li, will go on display from July 23 till National Day on Aug 9. The digitally stitched piece represents the collective dreams and aspirations of Singaporeans. Users of the NDPeeps App can point their mobile devices at the mural to access augmented reality content, such as images and sounds from previous NDPs.

During the two preview shows and on Aug 9, a card with artwork depicting scenes from Singapore's past, present and imagined future by actor Edmund Chen and special needs students from Pathlight School will be distributed to the public at the parade venue.

The public is encouraged to pen a pledge to Singapore on the card and share it on social media. An electronic version of the pledge card will be available on the NDPeeps App from July 7.









 




Showcase of five decades of National Day Parades
Explore how national event celebrating Singapore's independence evolved over the years at new exhibition
By Melody Zaccheus, The Straits Times, 11 Jun 2016

From a fly-past with a flag about the size of a billiard table during the National Day Parade (NDP) of 1970, to one as large as a basketball field during last year's parade - the event celebrating Singapore's independence has evolved over the decades.

Highlights can be seen in a new travelling exhibition featuring 102 archival images and stories, which were put together after a "retrospective survey" by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

The exhibition, "50 Years of National Day Parades", was launched at Kallang Wave Mall yesterday and will travel to Bedok Public Library, Velocity in Novena and One Raffles Place before returning to Kallang Wave Mall in the lead-up to National Day on Aug 9.

The showcase has been divided by decades into five sections from the 1960s to the 2000s. NHB assistant chief executive of policy and community Alvin Tan said the board felt it was timely to put together the showcase as Singapore celebrates its 50th parade this year.

He added: "We hope that Singaporeans will realise that the NDP is more than just a parade - it is the one time in the year that we are truly united in feeling proud of our achievements and hopeful for Singapore's future."


The first NDP in 1966 was held at 9am at the Padang and involved 23,000 participants. Another notable parade of the 1960s was the one in 1968 when participants performed their roles undeterred by a heavy downpour.

Retired major Ponnosamy Kalastree, 69, who took part in the first NDP in 1966, remembers being too excited to sleep the night before.

He said: "We felt a sense of duty and pride to serve and fight for the nation as soldiers. It was the first time we were appearing in public in our uniforms. It was also the first time that Singapore had its own soldiers to be proud of."

The section on the 1970s features technological advancements. For instance, three colour cameras were acquired in 1974 to capture the parade's proceedings. In 1976, the parade was held in the new National Stadium.

The 1980s was marked by a surge in confidence in Singapore's growth and success in development since independence.

It was also in 1984 that the first National Day song, Stand Up For Singapore, was introduced.

The following decade also had several firsts, including the debut of the 21-gun salute in 1994.

In 1998, the National Day song, Home, a local favourite, was launched as Singapore celebrated 33 years of independence.

Meanwhile, a thread that runs through the millennium parades is national identity - remembering the country's roots while gearing up for the future, said Mr Tan.

The grandest parade took place during the country's Jubilee celebrations at the Padang last year.

Highlights included F-16 fighter jets forming the number "50", a tribute to the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, a Singapore Airlines A-380 flying across the parade grounds, as well as a vintage parade.

Mr Ponnosamy said the exhibition will help the public understand the work that goes into developing the show each year.

"I was just a teenager when I took part in the first parade. I was very proud to be involved. Each parade is a countrywide effort that takes a year to put together."

NHB is calling for members of the public to share their NDP memorabilia to be incorporated into the exhibition. People who wish to contribute may e-mail nhb_feedback @nhb.gov.sg







 























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