03 Oct 2016 SSA’s Heartwarming Performance at NDP 2016
SSA Young Women Division will be representing SSA to present a mass display item in Singapore’s National Day Parade (NDP) 2016. The theme of NDP 2016 is “Building Our Singapore of Tomorrow”.
This parade celebrates Singapore 51st year of independence, which is also the first year that opens the next 50 years of Singapore’s history. It is the first NDP to be held at the new National Stadium since it was rebuilt in 2014.
There are 419 YWD mass display performers, including 154 new friends. There are also 21 YWD members and new friends who play the role of chaperones, taking care of partners with special needs who are part of the item. In addition, there are 150 YWD trainers, administration support personnel and reserve performers.
SSA groups supporting SSA’s participation in NDP 2016 are the MD Soka Stallion Group (logistics), Soka Medical Group (first-aid and care for participants), WD Passion Group and YWD Bluebelle Group (make-up groups) as well as the Angsana Group (volunteer photographers and reporters).
The SSA YWD members will put up a mass display performance in Act 6: “Our Home, Our People” to bring across the message of inclusivity and the importance of building a kind and gracious society in which every person is embraced and no one is left out.
Wearing large skirts hand-painted by persons with special needs, the YWD performers would depict different scenes such as Rose, Sunrise, Rainbow, Mother & Child, Multi-Racial Community, Happiness and the Singapore Flag.
Their dance steps comprise of synchronised hand movements taken from hand signing used by people with difficulties hearing or speaking. It is touching and beautiful, with the tune “It’s a Wonderful World” playing in the background, with a massive inflatable “sky city” suspended above them, symbolising an inclusive future.
Near the end of the performance, 150 persons with special needs accompanied by their chaperones would join the YWD performers on stage, doing the hand sign movements. These friends with special needs come from 7 Volunteer Welfare Organisations in Singapore:
1) Autism Network of Singapore
2) Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore
3) Handicap Welfare Association
4) Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore
5) Singapore Association for the Deaf
6) Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped
7) TOUCH Community Services
The care and patience shown to these friends with special needs by the YWD chaperones truly showcases the humanism of Nichiren Buddhism to society.
This culminates in the finale, where performers, joined by everyone in the audience, recite the pledge and sing the national anthem. YWD provide the backdrop of the Singapore flag, with indoor pyrotechnics and fireworks outside adding to the festivities.
The sky city transforms into a tree, highlighting rootedness to values and beliefs even as Singapore journey towards the future together.