Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Japan-ASEAN Youth Leaders Summit 2010 - Cultural Exchange Programme

Day 8 (of 37th SSEAYP 2010) - 1 November 2010

Everyone assembled at the Large Hall, Arts Building for the briefing on the day's schedule.

With Local Youth Izumi

We were informed of the attendance of Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino. She was a former Participating Youth of SSEAYP. Representatives from the Embassies as well as journalists would also be present.

I am honoured to be selected to represent the Singapore Contingent in meeting Ms Tomiko Okazaki, Minister of State for Social Affairs & Gender Equality, Cabinet Office. After the assembly, the representatives gathered for a briefing.

With Viny (Cambodia) & Tatum (Thailand)

Immediately after the briefing, I dashed to the backstage to prepare for our contingent's first and final dance rehearsal on the big stage. It was a really big stage!

We had a quick lunch and then started preparing the Singapore booth for the Exhibition in the afternoon.

We changed into our Attire B (National Costume) and returned to the Large Hall for the Opening Ceremony. It was a pity that use of cameras were not permitted. Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino graced the occasion. She didn't give a speech, but sat through the entire performance. Many of the Japanese Local Youths had never met the Princess before, so it was a real great honour for us to have her present.

Each of the 11 participating countries presented their performing items on stage. For Singapore, we had a contemporary dance along the tune of "Everyone" - the theme song for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore this summer. The modern dance reflects the progressive and global mindsets of today's Singaporean youth, the generation that has embraced the idea of being a global citizen yet still rooted to Singapore.

After the Opening Ceremony, the Princess proceeded to tour the Exhibition while the Ms Tomiko interacted with the representatives. Each of us made a self-introduction and shared why we joined SSEAYP and what we hoped to get out of it.

And then it was Exhibition time!

The exhibition panels showcased Singapore from the 1960s to 2000s and beyond

We were each given a Japan-ASEAN passport for us to collect stamps and signatures from the different booths in order to exchange for gifts.

Holding the Japan-ASEAN passport

Information about Singapore

To draw participants to the Singapore booth, I wore the Tikum Tikum board and asked passers-by to peel off the stickers to see if they were lucky enough to win prizes. Prizes were to be collected from the Singapore booth. It was interesting to see the expressions on the faces when I congratulate them for winning the prizes (actually everyone won something haha!).

Taking her try on the Tikum Tikum game

Within an hour, the Tikum Tikum board was left with only a few stickers.

Our contingent's Exhibition committee managed to bring Lyo & Merly all the way to Japan! Participants can take a photo with the two lovely mascots of the SYOG and get the photos instantly printed out at our booth.

3-D Housing Development Board (HDB) flat cut-outs were displayed to showcase our local culture.

Over at the snacks booth, we had tasty Kaya and biscuits.

And Kacang Putih!

Photo with contingent's Discussion Committee

The Singapore contingent also did a flash mob to hype up the mood. At a random moment, Jonathan started singing "Singapore Town" and then he was joined by percussionists, and then everyone started the "Singapore Town" Mambo dance!

And then everyone else joined us in the dance as we go around the entire Exhibition hall! It was a memorable and ecstatic moment!

Only managed to explore some booths:

Vietnam Booth

Traditional costume of Vietnam

Lao People Democratic Republic booth

Thanks Touy for the gift

One of the ethnic costume of the Philippines

When the clock struck 5.45pm, we started our packing up. Within half an hour, the vibrant and buzzling hall became naked.

After dinner, we assembled at the Reception Hall, International Exchange Building for the Exchange Party. 

Mr Taizo Okada, Director General for the General Promotion of Policy on Youth Affairs & Childrearing, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, gave the opening address.

The Local Youths presented some songs and dances:

The YLS staff too!

And the National Leaders said a few words...

A toast the Singapore way... "Yam Seng!"

Right after the Exchange Party, we had our Contingent meeting.

In the night, some of us went in search for Wireless Internet after hearing some unreliable news that there was Wifi...

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