03 Feb 2012 SSA Youths in Action at Chingay 2012 – “A Waterway Parade of Love and Care”
For the first time in the 40-year history of Chingay Parade, this year’s annual extravaganza themed “A Waterway Parade of Love and Care” was held on a water platform. It is also for the first time that SSA fielded a 1,007-strong contingent and appeared at both the opening and grand finale.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan graced the event held at the Formula-One Pit building alongside the Promenade on February 3rd and 4th respectively.
Welcoming the Year of the Dragon with great panache and elegance, some 300 SSA youths marched in as torch bearers alongside the spectacular entry by a pair of dragon and phoenix to kick off Asia’s largest street parade, featuring both local and foreign cultures through various dance, drama and musical performances, involving over 8,000 participants from 120 organisations in Singapore and nine other countries.
SSA performers in the first scene of the grand finale titled “Triumph over Challenges”, made a dynamic entrance against flashes of lightning and thunder. The stylishly cloaked performers from members of the Student and Future Divisions, danced in raging sequence to depict turbulent waves of a stormy sea. Within the contingent were three gigantic floats in the form of great sailboats spread across the three sectors of the lengthy waterway. On these ships, a total of six drummers with huge drums and 48 performers, danced and swayed to maneuver the ships through the “stormy seas”. The turbulence eventually subsided, signifying the undefeated spirit and limitless potential of youth in braving through trials and hardships and emerging triumphant.
During SSA’s performance, an excerpt of SGI President Ikeda’s poem, entitled “Paths of Verdure in the Lion City”, which he penned during his first visit to Singapore in 1988, was stalwartly “recited” by two SSA youths aboard the middle sailboat. [Editor’s note: The original voices of the recitation were by Ms Tan Gek Noi (English) and Mr Johnny Ng (Chinese).] In it, President Ikeda urged the youths of Singapore and SSA, whom he referred to as “Young Lions” to never forget to always wear, a “hero’s smile”. Indeed, in accordance with the poem, “A true hero is a person of capacity, whose true strength lies in developing flexibility and resilience, tempered with kindness”—a most suited message for the finale item themed “Love, Care, Kindness Everywhere”.
With dazzling pyrotechnics setting ablaze the Promenade nightscape and confetti raining down the skies, the show was brought to a climax as all performers streamed in and packed the waterway alongside the SSA youths for a sing-a-along to the theme song “Love will Make You See”.
(Please refer to SSA Times issue 433 for full report)