Why did one audience member stand up to sing ‘Home’ at National Day Rally?

Wu Jiezhen, 26, executive director of The Hidden Good took social media by storm when she stood up to sing along to Kit Chan’s “Home” at the National Day Rally. (Photo: @jeffcheong/Twitter)

By Kyle Malinda-White

As singer Kit Chan belted out a rendition of National Day classic “Home” at the National Day Rally Sunday (23 August), one woman captured television audiences and the awe of social media when she stood up to sing along with Chan.

She was later identified by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s Twitter account as Wu Jiezhen, 26, executive director of social startup The Hidden Good. The startup aims to uncover and celebrate the good in Singapore and the community. It has hosted flashmobs and posted videos of volunteers and Singaporeans engaging in acts of kindness.

Wu told Yahoo Singapore that she decided to stand up and sing along at the spur of the moment as she was reflecting on where Singapore was headed to.

“I guess Home to me is the anthem of our generation. The words truly hit me when Kit Chan started singing. If we don’t stand up for what we care about, who will?” said Wu, who said that she had no idea Chan was going to sing at the rally.

In a turn on the famed song title “Stand Up For Singapore”, Wu said that she hoped for Singaporeans, especially the youth, to stand up for the country and “take ownership of the Singapore we want to live in and leave behind for the generations after us”.

“We need to be unapologetically resolute on our stand for Singapore. That stand is to always be on the side of nation-building and not about partisan politics, but about people.”

Reactions came in swift after Wu’s actions. On social media, Twitter users saluted her for her actions. Wu said she received messages from family and friends saying that they were proud of her after spotting her on television.

She explained that “my friends and family know how much I love Singapore and this place we call home”, which is testimony to her work at The Hidden Good.

Wu said that she spoke to Chan after the rally ended and thanked her for the moving performance. She also said others seated beside her had wanted to stand with her but did not do so because they were shy. The executive director hopes that others understand that her actions meant more than just a random singalong to Chan’s song.

“It’s okay to be unapologetically enthusiastic for the things you care about, especially when it’s about building a bigger and brighter future for this place we call home.”