While National Day festivities may take on a different form this year, the special day’s role in uniting families and our community persists. We Love Bedok CC Deputy Constituency Director Rita Zuhaida Mohamed Nazeer is planning a virtual get-together with her close-knit extended family for National Day this year. Our nation’s birthday has always been a special occasion for her family, “Before COVID-19, my extended family came together every National Day. We’d all dressed in red and white and watched the parade over our favourite home cooked meals. My father is Indian and mother is Malay; we really enjoy the cultures and foods of both sides and others.” Rita embraces this diversity in all aspects of her life, “Being Singaporean means that I have a little bit of every local culture in me.” Prior to COVID-19, Rita invited non-Muslim friends to enjoy Malay delicacies each Hari Raya; her family enjoyed other festivities such as trading gifts with friends each Christmas. Speaking of her fondest memories from her family’s National Day get-togethers, Rita recalls, “We enjoyed the parade segment the most. My father was a retired police officer and he would share all these interesting stories from his time in the police force with us as we watched the celebration together.” This idea of every Singapore resident having unique personal experiences and expertise to offer resonates with Rita’s role with the People’s Association (PA) as well. Earlier this year, Rita was also part of a Citizens’ Workgroup for National Symbols organised by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth - MCCY, which brings together a diverse group of Singaporeans to review the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem (SAFNA) Act, including how and which National Symbols are used to celebrate National Day. In contributing to the workgroup, Rita’s insights were shaped by her role in PA as well as considerations for Singaporeans abroad. Having been with PA for eight years, Rita is no stranger to our community drawing from differences in experiences and cultures to form personal bonds and mutual support. “In Singapore, we are a very close-knit community. This Singapore spirit definitely is something that gives me comfort and I hope will continue for my children and more generations to come.” Rita’s sister, Dr Rita Zamzamah Mohamed Nazeer who currently resides in London will be celebrating our nation’s birthday and keeps in touch with Rita and the family often via digital platforms. “While London is lovely, Singapore is always home,” shares Dr Rita. “I miss the underrated spontaneity of our community, where we speak to strangers like we know each other because we are bonded by being Singaporeans. This happens instantaneously when Singaporeans gather abroad.” Both sisters and their family are looking forward to celebrating this Singaporean identity and keep their tradition of coming together over National Day alive this year. #PeoplesAssociation #SGUnited
Posted 2 months ago
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