So today, at our organisation’s National Day Observance Ceremony, kindergarten* kids and a primary school choir performed. The kids were really tiny – I don’t see young enough kids often enough to realise how tiny they are and how quickly they grow. And they were cute the way they stuck gamely to their much-rehearsed moves even as they half hushed themselves and half shouted “Mummy!” or “Daddy!” when they saw their parents in the audience.
The choir sang 小人物的心声, “My Island Home” and “Home”. I grew up listening to 巫启贤, and although I’ve come to dislike him as a person – he appears to think too much of himself – there was a time when I really identified with his songs. Listening to the choir give this song a modern, folksy twist was intriguing – I hadn’t heard 小人物的心声 sung like that before. I’ve never heard “My Island Home”, which is supposed to be this year’s National Day Parade theme song. (If that sounds to you like I don’t watch TV much, you’re right!)
But I know “Home”. And listening to choral voices singing it, hearing the lyrics, looking at the earnest faces of the children concentrating and trying their best to get the song right on the video feed backstage, I felt a fleeting sensation of a lump rising in my throat and somehow reaching behind my nose and eyes where tears start.
It went away quickly, and I don’t think I miss it much, but I hadn’t felt that patriotic in a long time :)
* Long ago, I remember insisting that “kindergarten” was spelled “kindergarden”. I remember being told that even kindergarteners knew that “kindergarten” was spelled “kindergarten”. I remember finding out through browsing the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary that “kindergarten” was spelled “kindergarten”. I remember detesting the German language.