In a heart-warming post on the evening of August 9, a foreigner living in Singapore shared that he and his family spent National Day showing appreciation to the country they have made their home by picking up litter in their neighbourhood.

The act was met with approval and gratitude from netizens, and the post inspired conversations on personal awareness and responsibility. What a wonderful way to say “Happy Birthday” to Singapore!

National Day 2019, Singapore’s 54th birthday, was the biggest and brightest bash, with unrivaled celebrations—glittering parades, spectacular shows and dazzling fireworks. Singapore pulled out all the stops to party with their citizens and commemorate the progress and spirit of the Singaporean people.

But they were not the only ones celebrating. Foreigners who have made Singapore their home wanted to greet Singapore, too, and show appreciation in their own way.

Ahmed Pasic, who is originally from Slovenia (according to his Facebook account), works and lives in Singapore with his family.

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The Pasics spent National Day expressing their gratitude to Singapore “for giving us an opportunity for decent life” by picking up litter in their neighbourhood.

Pasic posted a heartfelt message on Facebook, accompanied by a picture with his two children, all three of them smiling happily under the Singaporean flag, next to a big garbage bag full of litter they had picked up.

This text accompanied Pasic’s photo:

“Today we cleaned 2 parking areas, 2 playgrounds, one park, little bit around the block and big trash bag was full in one hour. Neighbourhood is more clean now.

Our family did this to show appreciation to Singapore for giving us an opportunity for decent life and we are also grateful for being home for two days due to public holidays.

Happy 54th birthday, Singapore.”

Pasic and his family decided that the best way to say thank you to a country that has given them a good life was to give back through personal awareness and accountability for their surroundings.

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The post was met with gratitude from netizens who expressed their thanks to the Pasics for their good deeds:

Pasic said that he and his family didn’t just do it for National Day, it’s something they do regularly—their “micro contribution to better Singapore”:

The post inspired conversations on taking personal responsibility for the environment:

A fellow expat commented that it was “lovely idea” to show appreciation for Singapore on a day meant for its citizens:

This netizen suggested doing a beach clean-up next:  

Pasic reiterated the need for “personal awareness”, saying that his family always brings their kids to take part in the cleaning whenever they do it:

Pasic noted that respect for the environment is a “long-term investment”:

It’s all about paying it forward and banding together to take care of our planet:

Pasic’s post and his family’s good deeds created a heart-warming exchange between netizens—Singaporean citizens and expats alike—and hopefully will inspire others to help keep Singapore clean in their own way. Happy Birthday, Singapore! /TISG