Curated Reads by the National Library, Singapore

Nothing drives home that feeling of belonging and togetherness among citizens all over the world more than when they celebrate their nationhood. Singaporeans come together every 9th of August to celebrate National Day, when we reaffirm our sense of national belonging, transcending cultural and ethnic differences.

Understanding our nation's history and its development is crucial to forming our own sense of identity and rootedness. These resources will help you gain a better understanding of Singapore's rich heritage.


Speech by Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at the City Hall on 3 December 1959


I . . . emphasise the urgent need for inculcating common values, common loyalties, common responses amongst our people. The sense of belonging together belonging to one entity, one unity, is a must in our task of nation building. An old nation with an ancient past has long historic experiences to bind its people together. We may not be able to afford such a long time to evolve a common heritage for our people.


Read our founding prime minister's speech delivered on 3 December 1959 when Yusof Ishak was sworn in as Singapore's head of state, and when the national flag, national anthem and coat of arms were launched.




Inaugural Address by Dr Ow Chin Hock, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, at the National Youth Leadership Training Institute Alumni Seminar on Youth and National Identity on 3 November 1979

Read Dr Ow's speech on the need for Singapore to have its own national identity.


The Big Read: As a Nation Celebrates, We Ask: What Makes Us Singaporean?

A street poll was conducted by the Today newspaper to gather the opinions of Singaporeans and foreign residents on what defines the Singapore identity. Take a look at the results!


Letter to my grandchildren in 2065

Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh shares his aspirations for the societal values he would like all Singaporeans to continue to demonstrate as the nation heads towards its centenary in 2065.