Singapore: Its People, Culture & Traditions
A lot has been said about Singapore but probably the most striking statement we have heard is that Singapore is a place where people with different nationalities and ethnicity can thrive. It’s not a secret that Singapore used to be a colony of the UK and it is also not a secret that Singapore used to be part of the Federation of Malaya along with Malaysia, North Borneo, and Sarawak Crowned Colonies. Migration was prevalent in Singapore even back in the 1800s to the early 1900s and during this period, people from different countries moved to Singapore to take part in the trading boom.
When Singapore gained its independence from the UK in 1965, the country has been plagued with many challenges including poverty, a housing crisis and malnutrition among its citizens. It may sound as a story of rags to riches but Singapore rose to becoming a financial hub in the South East Asia in the beginning of the 1970s due to the good governance of its first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.
The nation’s success is also being attributed to the people who came from other Asian countries who shared their expertise to the country. In fact, Singapore is a multi-cultural country comprised of Asian nationals and foreign migrants who are helping the government boost the city-state’s current global ranking when it comes to livability, ease of doing business and overall competitiveness.
Singapore: Its People
The largest fraction of Singapore’s population is made up of Chinese nationals (about 74.3%). But since the country is so close to Malaysia, many Malay people are migrating to the country to live there or establish their businesses in the city state.
The third largest group of people in Singapore is composed of Indians and Sri Lankans and 3.2% of the country’s population is made up of Eurasians, Asian of different origins, Americans, Australians and expats from other countries in the world.
Singapore: Its Culture
Singapore is a country that has fully embraced technology. Despite this, the country’s culture stands and it’s one that Singaporeans are proud of. Influenced by Malay, South Asian, East Asian, and Eurasian cultures, Singapore is a cosmopolitan society where people live harmoniously and interaction among different races are commonly seen. The Singaporean government ensures that citizens pay respect to different religions and personal beliefs and they advocate meritocracy, democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
In Singapore, the family is the centre of the social structure and it is where unity, loyalty and respect begin. Elderlies are introduced first, are given preferential seating, are given the choicest food, and in general put on a pedestal. Singaporeans also retain strong hierarchical relationships that can be observed in the relationship between parents and children, teachers and students, and employers and employees.
Singapore: Its Traditions
Singapore has many racial groups that have their own distinctive religions. It’s common to see colourful festivals of special significance all year round and people with other religions are welcomed to take part in these festivities. Singapore celebrates public holidays that reflect racial diversity including Chinese New Year, Buddhist Vesak Day, Muslim Eid ul-Fitr (known locally by its Malay name Hari Raya Puasa), and Hindu Diwali (known locally by its Tamil name Deepavali). Public holidays like Christmas Day, Good Friday, and New Year’s Day are also being celebrated by Christians in Singapore.
Singapore is a great country that does not only offer amazing careers and business opportunities but also unique culture of discipline, trust and hospitality. Many nations can learn valuable lessons from Singapore when it comes to good governance and stable rules and regulations that apply to everyone in the country. If other nations’ laws can be bended by the ruling class – Singapore is a city-state that don’t take your ethnicity, social status or intellect into consideration when you break the law. This is one of the best reasons why Singapore is respected by many foreign nationals who visit the country for business and investment purposes.