SYDNEY, Australia: Some 6,200 Singaporeans showed up at the Singapore Day in Sydney on Saturday to eat and make merry.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean urged them and other overseas Singaporeans to stay connected to Singapore.
Although those attending the event were away from home, the familiar sights, sounds and tastes of Singapore proved irresistible.
Queues had started forming outside the Singapore Day venue in Sydney before the event started at 10.30am.
Currently, there are over 50,000 Singaporeans residing in Australia.
Molli Ong said: "When we get together for a meal, we always talk about Singapore, and what Singapore is doing around the world so that Singaporeans can benefit."
Hawkers from Singapore were also flown in to provide a taste of home to those at the event.
Abdul Malik, owner of Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, said: "We got the chilli, it's a little different so we put more onions to modify it, it’s 80 per cent the same.
“When they taste our food, they feel very at home, they will give us the feedback and they say it's very good."
And Australia-based Singaporeans, some of whom flew in specially for the event, formed long queues despite the hot weather.
One of them said: "I miss the food and the culture most as you can't really get it here or it's really expensive and it's really nice to be with people around here."
There was also a touch of glamour as famous faces turned up to entertain the crowd.
The event also provided updates on Singapore, including the latest public housing initiatives and career opportunities.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo said: "This is part of the globalised world, there are more Singaporeans who live and work overseas and it's also because more Singaporean companies are overseas.
“It's good for Singaporeans to have those kind of experiences, but we hope that all Singaporeans overseas will stay connected, will still feel a part of Singapore."
The Singapore Day event, organised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit, was previously held in cities like New York and Shanghai.
The next Singapore Day will be held in London in April next year. - CNA/nd
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