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5 things turning 10 in 2021

A throwback to a simpler time.

Matthaeus Choo
Matthaeus Choo

Published: 17 September 2021, 9:09 AM

“Party Rock Anthem” and shuffling

Compared to today, 2011 was undoubtedly a simpler time. 

Facebook was still hip and cool. Smartphones were not as prevalent. The idea of a pandemic completely changing our lives was unimaginable, especially when the world already moved on from a few, unscathed, in the 2000s. 

As we continue to search for the light at the end of the tunnel, there might be comfort found turning the clock back. Take a trip down memory lane with these five trends and moments that turn 10 in 2021, as we keep our hopes up that we will be able to look back in 2031 with the same mix of bittersweet nostalgia.  

“In a Heartbeat” (and the Fun Pack Song)

Sylvia Ratonel’s In a Heartbeat is, in my opinion, easily the best National Day Parade theme song since Kit Chan’s classic Home, only closely followed by Electrico’s What Do You See. It’s not that the other theme songs from the last 10 years were bad per se, it’s just that none of it features the soaring heights of the song’s show-stopping chorus. 

Wikipedia mentions that In a Heartbeat is one of the few theme songs that don’t mention “Singapore” in its lyrics, which might also contribute to how the song manages to capture Singaporeans’ often-understated love for their home.

Also celebrating its 10th birthday from NDP 2011 is the Fun Pack song. Set to the tune of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, the song was originally planned to be a light-hearted way to explain the contents of the fun pack but was pulled from the actual parade due to negative feedback and legal issues

The opening of Universal Studios Singapore and the first Halloween Horror Nights

After two years of construction and a year of sneak previews, Universal Studios Singapore officially made its grand opening on May 28, 2011. With new rides and parades constantly being added to the park’s attraction list, USS has remained a prime weekend hotspot for families and friends over the last decade (especially when there are promotional deals for tickets).

A marquee event at the USS for youths is the Halloween Horror Nights, which also had its first edition in 2011. A decade of scares later, the spooktacular event will return for the 10th time this year in the form of an exhibition featuring displays and props from previous editions. 

The closure of Escape Theme Park

It’s a loss that still stings for many, especially when locals aren’t exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to weekend activities. Making its grand opening in May 2000, the theme park eventually became a home for a go-kart circuit, Asia’s highest log flume ride, bumper boats and countless memories for Singaporeans.

Unfortunately, declining attendance rates over the years and the opening of USS would lead to the eventual closure of the theme park in November 2011. Gone but not forgotten, its original site is now taken over by neighbouring Wild Wild Wet.

“Friday” and the memes of yesteryear

The Internet of 2011 was a far more innocent time. The idea of fake news felt too nefarious to be true. Social media still had a relatively soft grip on our lives. It seems unthinkable how Internet memes used to have a lifespan of months. 

Nowadays, dance trends, slangs and memes are lucky to even survive a week.

Remember planking? Remember Nyan Cat? Remember Yam Ah Mee and all the strange musical remixes of his speeches during the 2011 election? Perhaps no other sensation would capture the Internet in 2011 more so than the infamous viral song Friday by Rebecca Black.

On one hand, it is a terrible song with everyone making references to its awkward lyrics and pastiche music video. On the other, the fallout from the viral video would also be one of the first high-profile examples of Internet bullying

Friday, in retrospect, was an early sign of the steep downwards trend for the Internet and the tumultuous decade that would follow for the world at large.

The 2020s may not have had the best of starts so far but as long as we can keep moving forward, we will always have the capacity to make the decade the best yet for ourselves and for everyone around us.


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