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Photos: Instagram/@ndpeeps

NDP2020: Same Same But Quite Different

“This year’s NDP will be a landmark one – for the first time since our independence, instead of gathering at a central location, NDP will be brought all across the island, to the homes of every Singaporean," said Brigadier-General Frederick Choo, Chairman of the NDP2020 Executive Committee in a media briefing for the celebration of Singapore's 55th birthday.

This year's theme: "Together A Stronger Singapore". And the three main messages of this year's celebrations:

a) We must stay united.
b) We help one another in tough times.
c) We will emerge stronger as a nation.

So yes, my friends, NDP is still happening! But here are some changes you can expect:

Photo: Nick Chee

1. A more compact parade VS a large-scale parade

Instead of the usual large-scale affair, it will be more, shall we say, fun-sized. Starting with PM Lee's National Day Message, the event will continue with a parade at the Padang reviewed by our President. And while the National Anthem is played, there will be flag-raising ceremonies taking place across the island as we sing the National Anthem together; what's a first this year: the state flag flypast will take place around the island.

Our favourite Red Lions will be dropping in on us in the heartlands, and the impressive Mobile Column (of vehicles from the SAF and Home Team) will be making their way into the heartlands along five routes, too.

And if, for some reason or other, you can't watch the parade online, you'll definitely hear the six F-15SGs as they fly around the island in formation in an act called "Roar of Unity".

More details to come, so watch this space!

Photos: Nick Chee and Star Performing Arts Centre

2. Intimate performances VS mass performances

Instead of huge mass displays, this year will see small-scale performances (by everyday Singaporeans and local celebs) at the Star Performing Arts Centre. The show will be broadcast over TV and the web - so basically, a bit like President's Star Charity show lah.

Film will play a big part in the show, so watch out for inspiring stories of frontline heroes who have kept us safe and kept Singapore going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photos: Instagram/@ndpeeps and @sarahsyazlina

3. NDP in every home VS 25,000 spectators

No more Kallang Wave among 25,000 spectators, but you can definitely try it with your loved ones at home! There will be home-based activities such as, um, an NDP-themed workout, and, um, a "family cooking activity". When we find out more, we'll let you know.

And if you've missed out on participating in - or can't get enough of - virtual choirs, there'll be a call for Singaporeans to video ourselves singing a familiar Singapore song (dunno which one yet) and submit the video to be compiled into a massive virtual choir to close the NDP celebrations. More details later!

Every household will be getting the iconic NDP Fun Pack, too, containing items to interact with the parade and with family members. (Not necessary, in our opinion; couldn't the funds for this have been channelled to efforts to fight COVID-19? Also, save the earth!) The committee will be working with national agencies and grassroots for distribution, said BG Choo. Again, details to come.

Photos: Instagram/@ndpeeps and @pengthegreat

4. No volunteers and fewer rehearsals VS volunteers and 4-month rehearsals

There will be no volunteers participating in this year's festivities. And rehearsals will only begin after the Circuit Breaker (they usually start in March), to ensure the safety of all participants and the general public.

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