culture of Singapore

Singapore’s population is made up of roughly 77% Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians and 1% of other descent. While the original inhabitants were Malay fishermen, the establishment of Singapore as a British trading post made the country a magnet for migrants and their families seeking a better life. They came in the thousands from China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Ceylon and the Middle East.

Ethnic diversity
‘The Raffles Plan’ put together by Sir Stamford Raffles during this period, saw that each race was segregated. While there are still distinct ethnic areas, the policies of the Housing and Development Board of recent times attempt to promote a mix of all races within each housing district in order to foster social cohesion and national loyalty. The racial groups within Singapore have retained their own cultural identities while developing as an integral part of the wider Singapore community. Singapore’s unique combination of these ethnic groups has given Singapore a rich mixture of diversity for its young age. One of the prime examples is in Singaporean cuisine, often a cultural attraction for tourists.

This diversity means there is also a range of languages spoken. While Malay is the official language most Singaporeans are bi-lingual, speaking English as a first or second language. English became widespead in Singapore after it was implemented as the first language in the eduation system, since then a mixture of words from the Chinese, Malay and Indian languages combined with English has produced ‘Singlish’, spoken commonly on the streets.

A diverse ethnic mix goes hand in hand with a diverse set of religions - Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism are the main ones. You only need to look to the Singapore skyline to appreciate the distinctive minarets of mosques, spires of gothic cathedrals, intricate figurines of Hindu temple gods and distinctive roof architecture of Chinese temples.


Post a Comment