Wednesday, 21 May 2003

renegade "nations"

close friends of mine would know that i've always wondered about Tampines (which, according to Mr Brown is "a town that a lot of foreigners mispronounce as "Tam-Pines" or "Tam-pins" when is should be pronounced "Tam-(male organ") you know, the sprawling suburban town that seems to have just about anything else that you can find in the rest of singapore, even their own commercial district (big banks, CPF board etc), reservoir (if you consider the nearby Bedok Reservoir to be part of them), football team, share of shopping malls, public amenities of all sorts, and i recently even discovered, their own website. in fact, Tampines has even won some prestigious United Nations "World Habitat Award for Excellence in Housing Design" award and has been described as "indeed a place to live in and the intelligent town of the future", which justifiably makes the people living there somewhat proud to be called Tampinites (tam-pee-nites)..

as a joke, i've always questioned Tampines' loyalty to Singapore, since it could so easily (relative to the others) break away and declare itself an independent nation (in which case we may see a civil war like we have never seen before here!) and eventually we will need passports just to go there, it'll have it's own police force and so on..

that was until i found out yesterday about the Federation of Damanhur, an amazing hidden "nation" in Italy which has about 800 citizens, it's own flag and currency and a really amazing subterranean temple". and about The Free and Independent Republic of Frestonia (see nice pics)a 1-acre slum community in London which tried to break away from the UK after it's inhabitants faced eviction by the Greater London Council, even issuing it's own postage stamps, having it's own parliament and athem and applying to the UN for membership and peace-keeping protection!! hahahaha...

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