SINGAPORE : New Year celebrations took on a new meaning for some families, as they welcomed a new member to their families.
Four babies – all boys – were born at the stroke of midnight.
The policy to allow babies of mixed parentage to use double-barrelled race identities also kicks in on Saturday.
Not everyone can claim that their birth was greeted with fireworks, but little Damien Foong can.
His father Donovan said the family were watching the countdown show on television, while counting down too, to the birth of their second child at Mount Alvernia Hospital.
In a nearby ward, another boy was delivered at the same time.
Lucius is the first-born for Alvin and Lynn Lim, and his name means “light” in Latin, symbolising the hopes his parents have for him.
His father, Alvin Lim, said: “To be a righteous, honourable guy, better than his dad.”
Harris Asryani was delivered naturally at Thomson Medical Centre. His parents are Madam Elly Khai Rani Lubis and Juhai Di Khai Rani Jumadi.
Over at Gleneagles Hospital, five-year-old Chantal Yeo has a little bonding session with her newborn brother.
The baby has not been named yet, and he is not the only one in his family with a unique birthday – Chantal was born on August 9, Singapore's National Day.
Down the hall, Chew Kok Cheong plants a light kiss on his newborn daughter, Valerie. She is the first child of Mr Chew and his wife, Madam Nur Farhannah Aslam.
Valerie is among the first babies in Singapore to have the race of both parents reflected in her identification papers.
Her parents said that ultimately, it is about letting their child know about her heritage.
Nur Farhannah Aslam said: “We plan to put her race as Chinese-Pakistani, because my dad is a Pakistani. Singapore is a multi-language society, so maybe she can learn more from our cultures.”
Both Mr and Mrs Chew plan to enrol Valerie in a Chinese-language school in future, but they said Valerie will still be taught Malay.
Channel News Asia