It’s just 2 more days to my trip and strangely enough, I am not psyched up about it. It’s the Olympics, for crying out loud.
Part of my aloofness stems from the sad knowledge that Singapore just does not care enough about my art. When a dude sits in front of a computer and shoots his opponents down to win a medal at the World Cyber Games, the whole country erupted in cheers and accolades. When smart kids win medals at the International Physics Olympiad, the media splashes it all over national television and newspapers. When we won our two gold medals two years ago, we had to kick up a ruckus before anything was published.
Kudos to the National Arts Council for helping us with our funding. Any red tape was cut through as quickly as possible and we enjoyed an easy working relationship with them.
But what we need, as much as financial aid, is recognition. Recognition from Singapore that we are wearing her colours to showcase to the world the talents this tiny red dot has to offer. Recognition that choral singing, as much as acting, pop singing and visual arts, is an art in itself. Recognition of all our hard work, our sacrifice, our spent weekends and our passion.
If only our own country would give us the support we so need. How ironic that we are ranked 80th in the world (and Victoria JC choir, 8th) and seventh in the folklore category and nobody knows or cares. What is the ranking of our national football team in the world again? (Answer: 111)
I have been through two Choir Olympics and this is probably my last. The thrill of competing has waned somewhat and coupled with the hustle and bustle of working life, the fight against a very painful throat and sniffles and the disappointment in the choir’s evolution, I honestly doubt that I would feel as much in Xiamen as I did in Bremen, Germany.
But upon reading a VJChoir junior’s blog entry on their win in Italy recently, I felt a sense of nostalgia. This is what singing and competing is all about – the wonder, the adrenaline, the euphoria. This was how I had felt when I was 18 and in Germany for my first ever international competition, how I had felt when we went to Linz, Austria for the inaugural Choir Olympics and how I had felt during Bremen two years ago.
Can I replicate that again?