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Singaporeans and tourists party the night away to celebrate National Day (ChannelNewsAsia/ TCS 5 News)
9 Aug, 2003

By Johnson Choo

Singaporeans and tourists partied the night away on Friday, celebrating the ban on bar top dancing and the Nation's Birthday!

The two dancers engaged by a Jazz Bar were keen to jazz up its image.

Not quite its usual fare of "live" music but it's keen to attract new customers. Manager of Blue Note Jazz Bar, Amy Zhang said: "For the dancers, they're here to dance because people like to watch."

Allowing bar top dancing has been linked to efforts to Remake Singapore.

While the response to Nation.03, an outdoor party organised by some members of the gay community, can be seen as a gauge of Singapore's tolerance.

Over the past two years, the event had evolved from a niche party for the gay community to one that attracts party-goers from all sectors of society.

All wanting the same thing - good music and a good party. Said one partygoer: "Although there're a lot of guys around, but it's a pretty good atmosphere, good music and it's a brilliant location. It's excellent right?"

And the rejoinder from his girlfriend: "I think it brings across the real meaning of National Day, because everybody just celebrates together. It doesn't matter whether you're straight, gay, or whatever!"

Theatre actress, Pamela Oei said: "I'm wearing a "Born this way" t-shirt, and some of my other friends are wearing "Born that way", but it doesn't matter because we're just born anyway!"

The party drew party goers from the region with at least 500 from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Dr Stuart Koe from Event Organiser, Fridae, said: "Out of the approximately 4 to 5 thousand people we have here, I'd say about 25 to 30 percent are tourists and we're very excited about that."

This tourist travelled from San Francisco and was pleasantly surprised.

"It's quite fun and quite a surprise. I would not expect this from Singapore," said a gay man who is a tourist from San Francisco.

Surprising or not, this is the 3rd year the party has been organised and its growing popularity could make it a "must see" event on the world party circuit.

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