the road to my place was blocked off this sunday for the independence day games. studying economics in a "scientific" way should probably alert one to speculation and deriving theories simply based on observation, but here goes!

the difference in structure of the celebrations is immediately obvious to me. national day for me, in singapore, is that big event which occurs in the national stadium and padang every year, and the massive, massive fireworks display which seems to get longer and grander every year.

here they had the sporadic fireworks within individual neighbourhoods. there used to be a grand marchpast somewhere near the presidential palace, but it's mostly decentralized here. the road outside my place was painted with a few lanes for a short 50m sprint for the kids. they also have keropok eating competition where they hang it on a string and you're supposed to eat it with your own hands. other innovations include tying a brinjal around your hips and then using it to hit a ball. i didn't get to see much palm tree climbing, but it was replaced by a greased bamboo stick over a pool and the kids trying to get the prizes in the middle. what was amusing was reading in the papers that for a certain village, the adults didn't organize the games, so the kids pooled their own money to organize cause they missed the games.

but of course it is decentralized. this country is sprawling. i cannot say if independence matters any more to them than the average singaporean. i mean among the elites, the writers here, obviously they would write about how hard independence was to win, but how many of them are the kids playing in the streets? similarly in singapore, you can't doubt the genuine enthusiasm of the people who attend national day events. it's becoming a bit more decentralized now, in my year (in army) they started to have associated events like fireworks competition and racing, this year maybe there was singfest (no idea if that had to do with national day). Even neighbouring countries are jumping in on the act.


how hard is it to grow close to someone? in an average romantic relationship, why does trust grow so much faster? and how much faster it gets to grow as well. of course, i'm not saying the trust cannot and isn't broken, but it's amazing how it sometimes leapfrogs ordinary friendships there for years. sure they exist in parallel, but why are we always so screwed by biology?

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