"We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity, and progress for our nation."
Quoted everyday by the populous of students in the nation this homage is a true representation of what I witnessed during my visit to this outstanding nation. While we were only in the country for a very short period I feel as if we were able to attain a somewhat comprehensive glance into the heart of the small but powerful nation.
We were greeted at the airport by Hock Seng and Carolyn who graciously gave of their time and vast knowledge on Singapore. They personally showed us around the country that they have called home for the large majority of their lives and the entirety of their 22 year marriage.
Our first stop was at the National Museum of Singapore, while the second stop was a little more appetizing, a traditional Sing dessert. While steaming hot black-bean soup was more to the Korean taste, this mixed fruit extravaganza was not half bad.
The museum itself was the highlight of the visit. I normally don't prefer to spend my few short hours visiting a country in a museum reviewing artifacts, but this museum was unlike any other I have ever been to. It made the Royal Tyrrell look like a sixth grade science fair (I am so sorry Alberta). Recently renovated and manifesting the true meaning of multi-faceted learning while implementing an integration simulation, this museum seemed to draw me in and make me crave more knowledge on the ancient, as well as, recent history of the country. Here, many facts and discussions that we all have had in social studies throughout the years, such as imperialism and democracy, came to life for me as I yet again had one of those experiences like in the Tienanmen Square where I pondered the fallen nature of man-kind and the injustices of all political systems.
The museum's architecture itself was breathtaking. A slight mix of modern and a solid helping of British imperialist influence left a firm impression on the mind of those who entered.
After strolling the impeccably clean streets for a few hours and learning first hand what it is like to live in a country where the laws are some, if not thee, strictest in the world it was nice to sit down to an authentic Indonesian dinner. Fish head soup anyone?
You wouldn't know it to look at it but this simmering pot of soup was alright by this anti-fish loving persons standards. Hint, for those of you willing to give it a go, the cheek directly under the eye socket is the most delicious.