Singing the national anthems has become a national pastime, with the Singaporean government announcing on Tuesday that it will perform the national hymn at the start of the Olympic Games in Beijing.
The singing, which has been practised in Singapore for more than three decades, is an ancient form of expression dating back to the country’s independence from Britain in 1957.
But the singing of the national thelma in the midst of an Olympic games was a big change from past practices, said Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was also on hand at the ceremony.
He said he would be making a formal announcement about the anthem’s use in Beijing, as part of his ongoing effort to boost tourism in Singapore.
The Singaporean anthem is traditionally sung in public, in front of an audience of about 2,000.
In recent years, there have been calls for a more inclusive national anthem, which would include traditional songs from across Singapore’s diverse musical spectrum, and include songs from indigenous languages.
Singapore is home to more than 5 million people, making it one of the world’s most populous countries.
Singapore is also the home to the world-famous Singaporean Aquatic Park, which is open to the public, and is a popular spot for sporting events, including the annual football match between the Singapore national team and the Singaporeans.
It also hosts Singapore’s National Sports Centre, home to one of Asia’s largest and most successful sports programs.
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