Things have been pretty purple in Singapore this last week. The skyline has been lit up with 19 buildings going purple in solidarity with the purple parade movement. If you haven’t seen them you can check out the photos here http://www.purpleparade.sg/purple-light-up. All the hype has been leading up to the purple parade, a gathering to show ability and inclusion of those with special needs here in Singapore.
Our first impression of the parade was simply WOW it is busy! There was a sea of purple shirts and purple hats, around 10,000 people according to the strait times. It felt like this movement deserved more space than they had, you could have taken over a whole block with the parade alone. We turned up just as the parade started, shouts and drum beats filling the air as people held their banners high and marched forward.
The parade ended a short while away at an outdoor stage where there was a mixture of speeches and performances. A number of top politicians were there too, including the deputy prime minister and mayor of central Singapore district. The performances showed the talent of the special needs community, with musical performances including a percussive group and a modern interpretation of flamenco. Quite a mix!
After viewing the performances we moved on to the shopping. Stalls were set up to showcase handicrafts, baked goods and art created by the special needs community. Even salted egg crisps! (which if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived). We ended up buying some rather delicious cakes.
The atmosphere in the parade was great, there were areas set up so people could sit and watch the shows on a nearby screen if they’re tired, swing bench’s wreathed in flowers, and a lady entertaining the kids with a large bubble net. There was even a small area for boccia, a game I’d never seen before a bit like boules but for wheelchair users.
All in all the parade was great and showed how many people here care about the special needs community. I’ve no doubt next time it will be even better.