Singapore has an entire generation’s worth of stories just waiting to be shared, yet no one is hearing them. We know Singapore’s history through facts (from textbooks), but they do not show the personal, human side to our history.
In Singapore, we currently have two generations with vastly different life experiences co-existing. While the younger generation enjoys peacetime and the benefits that it entails, the older generation suffered through war, and not only witnessed, but also went through the development of Singapore from third world to first.
Singaporeans are still able to listen to these stories first hand, from the very generation that lived through those experiences. These are experiences that Singapore will never go through again. If we do not document these stories today, in three or four decades, they will be lost forever.
The importance of documentation lies in its contribution to building the Singapore identity. Singapore is young, and thus the country’s history and stories will be based on none other than the stories of those who went through its formative years. These stories serve as oral history, and if our generation does not care to keep and document them, they will be lost.