Saturday, 5 May 2007

Moth Moments and Patriotic Fervour

I am on Saturday duty in the Library. This usual happens once a month with our current staff roster and means that I man the reception desk as 'sole operator' between midday and 7 pm.

Student numbers using the library are picking up as assignments fall due so, unlike my last duty when there were no takers, today has seen a few hardy souls brave the heat to visit us.

Our main doors have a sensor which allows them to open electronically. They did so shortly after noon and apparently of their own volition. I wondered why this should be so, until I spotted that a very large moth had triggered the sensor and flown in to take advantage of our air conditioning (see the Gallery image right).

In a previous posting I enthused over the use of YouTube video in blogs. The video clip below captures not only scenes of Singapore but also the patriotic fervour that grips the island from time to time.

It would be fair to say that apart from an All Blacks win at rugby and the occasional success in international yachting, my country of birth rarely demonstrates such affection. Maybe we are not overly demonstrative, falling back on that well proven Anglo Saxon reserve. Singaporeans by comparison have no such reserve and the Government here openly encourages patriotic gestures.

In New Zealand, the National Day is a time to throw mud at the country's leadership (both literally and figuratively), fill the newspapers with politically inspired belly aching and generally contribute to the overall sense of national malaise.

Singapore's National Day is in stark contrast to the NZ variety with massed performances, speeches from leading dignitaries and a celebration of prosperous times ahead - the sense of optimism is tangible.

Here is the video in question. Not surprisingly there are also several "food sequences" which is a reflection on the Singaporean obsession with this topic. Just click on the small arrow bottom left to view it.

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