In her New Year’s Eve speech, The Danish Queen Margrethe II encouraged everyone to do something unnecessary. Something to keep us curious about the world. Something to make us snap out of our everyday routines.
Walking around Singapore’s landmark “The Merlion,” I was stopped by a couple of friends, who were doing a surprise birthday video for another friend back in Indonesia.
I agreed to participate and with a sign in my hands, reading: “Danny 25” and the water splashing Merlion in the background we did a quick recording of me wishing him happy birthday in Danish. They asked if we could take a picture together and a minute after I had two more followers on Instagram.
Wildan, 28, explains how it is so easy to make friends out of strangers today due to social media. He recently met a guy from Hong Kong in Malacca and through Instagram they now keep up with each other’s lives:
“We comment on each other’s pictures all the time. I have only met him once, but it is fun to stay connected with people from all over the world.”
Initially, Wildan came to Singapore to experience the New Year’s Eve fireworks over Marina Bay Sands. The rainy 10 minutes experience did not meet his expectations but at least he got to see his friend who now studies in Singapore. The two friends only just met a couple of months ago back in Indonesia, where they took an English class together, but by staying connected through social media, it also makes it easier to keep in touch in person when geography brings you together.
Wildan tells me that the idea with the video is to get as many people from different countries to participate because his friend in Indonesia does not have the chance to travel much. However, now Danny will receive a personal greeting from strangers in both Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, English and Danish.
Unsure of his English, Wildan does find it a bit intimidating to ask all these people to participate in the video, but he enjoys doing it because as it turns out most people are happy to do it.