National Day 2020: Singapore's Industry Insiders Share What They Love Most About Our Country
Singaporeans will be celebrating National Day 2020 in about a week's time, while the world struggles to get through the Covid-19 health crisis. As we commiserate with one another, the Tatler Singapore team checks in with six local personalities to find out what they love most about Singapore's society. They share with us what they appreciate most about their respective industries, including design, F&B, philanthropy, music and entertainment
"In my personal experience, the local music scene is pretty close-knit and mutually supportive. You will often see artists sharing each others’ music and cross-genre collaborations happen frequently. Even now, during the Covid-19 pandemic when work is scarce, musicians have been generous in sharing how they set up their gear for livestream, and have been actively visiting each other’s streams to boost engagement. There’s just so much love!"
Beppe De Vito
"Through this pandemic, I feel that [the local F&B industry] has stood stronger and even more united than before as one voice through the #saveFnBSG movement. A true display of the Singaporean kampung spirit, where people stay connected and help look after each other with their own support groups to tackle issues that are close to heart."
"Singapore is a relatively young state ... but it is unique! I’m most cognizant of one aspect of its society and that is philanthropy. Many in Singapore support philanthropic causes unconditionally. This comes in the form of charity foundations; personal philanthropy of time; and a unique phenomenon of philanthropy—stepping out for a good cause and having a good time too. I’ve found this to be uniquely Singaporean. Many, including myself, don’t apologise if we prefer to help the hapless among us by supporting (and organising) glitzy events—as long as the money raised goes to worthwhile causes. Our mantra (which is also uniquely Singaporean) is this: Fundraising is like gold prospecting, it doesn’t matter where and how you find a gold nugget (or charity dollar). The value of the nugget in weight is the same!"
"I love Singapore’s can-do attitude. Modern Singapore is a testament to a simple principle: that vision, hard work, and perseverance can lead to greatness. The Singapore cocktail bar community is but one shining example of this attitude. Over the past 10 years, Singapore has swept into the global spotlight in the drinks industry, now placing behind only London and New York in annual rankings."
"I think our greatest untapped potential is our racial harmony, religious harmony and multiculturalism. A few years ago, I was shocked when the leaders of Germany, France and UK pronounced, in quick succession, that multiculturalism did not work. What we have achieved is very rare and very precious. We should let the world know about this success story."
"Within Singapore's creative industry, you know everyone even though we may be in different creative fields. It is a very small community, but a very supportive one. When you hold a show or exhibition, you have friends from graphics, interiors, architecture, illustrators, photographers, artists, and so on, who will turn up and show support. This is because we know the challenges of doing creative work in Singapore. We feel like we are in the same boat most of the time, so you can just give a call or text to exchange information and tips anytime."
Gwee Li Sui
"I appreciate the friends I made as a writer most! The bulk of a writer’s work is solitary, and so I need to force myself out of my hole, talk to humans, and ruffle my mind a bit. A group of friends made through writing involves not just my readers but readers in general, people with whom I can converse about books, ideas, and life. A second group is a small subset consisting of fellow writers. Publishing has brought us together and, while we think alone, we influence one another often by means of respectful space. When you grow up with writers, you watch their visions and styles change with the tides of their lives. It is a lovely thing to experience and makes growing old an adventure."