At some SG50 goodie bag giveaway station, there were two bangladeshi nationals (by the way they were dressed, I assume they're workers on their day-off) standing by the sides watching as people joined the queue to collect their goodie bags.. after collecting mine, I walked past them telling them they too could join the line to collect the goodie bag.
"No sir, we not Singapore". came one of the man's halting reply with an almost apologetic face that was ready to leave embarrassed.
"You guys helped build our country, our party's your party too," and handed them my goodie bag which they were very reluctant to accept but when they eventually did, the both of them probably broke the world record for saying "thank you" the most times in ten seconds. Their enthusiasm and gratitude for a simple goodie bag was very humbling.
But that's not where the beauty of these two bangladeshi ended.
As I rejoined the queue (only to find out later that all the goodie bags had been given out), a child with her parents was whining by the side about not getting the goodie bag.. the two bangladeshi men walked over to them with a smile and handed that family the goodie bag I just gave them. The child grabbed it. The parents grabbed their child and walked away.
Strangely, i'm not even mad.
But seriously. Foreign workers like these two bangladeshi men deserve every bit of goodies and gratitude. Let's not forget or exclude as we celebrate our nation's big 50.
Matthew Zachary Liu