SG50 National Day celebrations and the historical re-enactment of the arrivals of Sang Nila Utama in Singapore in the 13th century and of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. Historians debate whether or not such re-enactments truly constitute “experiencing history.”
Source: The Channel News Asia website
How and why certain “scenes” or events from the past are selected to create a significant pageant will reveal the underlying criteria determined by nation-builders to forge a collective identity. For example, the scene of Sang Nila Utama’s arrival will inculcate the idea of a long history of Singapore that stretches back many centuries. The arrival of the British will entrench certain neutral, non-threatening institutions in Singapore such as the English language.