In a few days time, the 37th Ship for South East Asian Youth Programme or more popularly known as SSEAYP will come to an end. With it, tears and hugs amongst 300 youths on board the Fuji Maru will flow relentlessly as they get forcibly removed from wonderland.
It is a feeling that seems all too familiar to me as I experienced it first hand myself just 3 years ago as a participant of this programme. Together, hugging and kissing in the morning and then just a few hours later, you’re back in the living space called home, away from your new found friends and loved ones.
Whilst it is an experience that I’d put myself through over and over again, it was actually an experienced that opened my heart up to what my emotional life was all about and what friendship meant for me.
Early this December, Fuji Maru berthed at Singapore Cruise Center in the second last leg of the 52-day adventure. I was no longer a part of the youths on the ship but was now part of the group responsible to organise a gathering of alumnis from Japan and ASEAN.
The experience is best perhaps watched on video.
That was the mad rush into Fuji Maru as only the three of us were allowed to board the ship earliest to prepare.
Here are some photos from that night!
Being a member of this programme also means that you’d need to learn a few standardized cheers as well as the all important song which only this secret cult group from Japan and ASEAN know.
THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE VIDEO to a snippet of the song which has been sung over the years and throughout generations which includes Japan’s Her Royal Highness, Princess Akihiro.
It’s the same at every country you go to where the ship is berthed when the Reunion On Board takes place.
Same rituals carried out to ensure the longevity and prosperity of this programme and friendship between this growing group is well bonded.
Unfortunately, that’s not the end.
Okay, I that is THE END.
To all Participating Youths from 34th SSEAYP, I miss you lovely people dearly. If only I had money to just buy a 13-storey cruise ship, I’ll take you people on board my own for our own sailing adventure – NO NLs this time!