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International Friendship Day

03 April 2018

The wonders in being part of ASEAN can be summed up in this year’s International Friendship Day celebrations. We came together to enjoy music, songs, beats, singing; immersing ourselves in the sounds of ASEAN. We may not understand the lyrics used in the songs of the different cultures, but we can surely feel the song and the emotions the beats evoked.

Ever wondered what life would be without music?

We started the journey that afternoon with a laidback and jazzy piece from Malaysia. Turning the bend, it took us to Thailand where the catchy beats of ‘Sa Bai Sa Bai’ lifted the mood. Up next was a sad Vietnamese love song, ‘Khong’. This song was sung in Japanese and Chinese as well. Moving northeast from Vietnam, we landed in the Philippines. ‘Anak’, the ever popular Freddie Aguilar song, was belted out in a much sombre state to reflect its true meaning. But, do you know that this song has been sung in fifty other languages? Amazing, huh! It must have really struck a chord amongst those who heard it before. No one would have guessed that a song from one of our very own ASEAN nations would make it internationally. Our ASEAN journey ended back in Singapore, the host nation of this year’s meet. The Good People played us the upbeat song, a different version of last year’s theme song: the ASEAN Spirit.

Music as we all know is what binds us; each culture having their own distinct sound, but each sharing their feelings and how songs can be used as a means to communicate. The programme was interwoven with insightful information on how song and music have become a big part of our lives, the lives of those around us, and the lives of our ASEAN friends. To fifty-one years, and counting...

Ms Marie Elena Louisa Soliano

Citizenship and Character Education Committee

Rasa Sayang Hey, Rasa Sayang Sayang Hey!

03 April 2018

A day designed to foster friendship and bridge the gaps between race, colour and religion, was the basis for our assembly period a few weeks back.

That day, the warm lighting of the Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH) gently lit up the place and made the place seem cozy and snuggly. As the students ambled their way in, they had eager looks on their faces, excited for what was in store for them.

Upon entering the MPH, students were greeted with a gush of cold air which nipped at their skin, providing a cooling sensation that suddenly reduced the lethargy to nothingness, air-drying the beads of perspiration that were dripping down our foreheads, following the hustle and bustle of a seemingly regular, hectic school day.

A few musicians stood on stage, surrounded by bright and dazzling lights. Just then, a soft silence fell over us. We were enthralled by the intoxicating melody produced by the talented lady on stage, as she sang various songs from the different ASEAN cultures, all of which uniquely represented each nation well.

“Rasa sayang hey, rasa sayang sayang hey…”

Her mellifluous voice rang through the air, sending a warm surge of welcomed familiarity across the student body. Hearty, rosy nostalgia overcame the students and teachers; a few of them even closed their eyes and sang along to the old, ever so familiar songs of ASEAN.

The assembly programme, to me, has undeniably enriched many students on the different cultures and traditions in Southeast Asia. That lady has truly reflected that music is a universal language that can bring everyone together, regardless of where they come from, and what their background is.

Glenn Ng (3H)