Society and Culture Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)


Demography. Singapore has a population of about 5.5 million     (July 2014), 4.5 million of whom are citizens and permanent residents. The others are mainly foreign workers. The Chinese constitute about 78 percent, the Malays 14 percent, the Indians 7 percent, and others 1 percent of the population. The ethnic composition of the population has been relatively



Age structure:


Symbolism. Economic prosperity and political stability are associated with the national culture, as is the Singaporean concept kiasu . Kiasu means "afraid to lose" and refers to the wish to come in first in lines, competitions, negotiations, and so forth. Some say kiasu keeps standards high, but others claim it leads to a graceless society.

The flag is divided into equal red and white horizontal sections symbolizing unity and purity. A white crescent moon and five stars in a circle symbolize a growing nation and the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality. The national anthem and national motto are in Malay. Other symbols draw on the distinct ethnic traditions. Chinese, Malays, and Indians draw on symbolic materials and ritual practices from their own traditions and for their own purposes.

Linguistic Affiliation. Singapore is a multilingual state. The national language is Malay, and the four official languages are Malay, English, Indian (Tamil), and Chinese (Mandarin). English is the administrative language and the medium of instruction in schools. Pupils also choose one of the "mother tongues": Malay, Tamil, and Chinese. There are various sub dialects of the different languages.

Crime rate: The crime rate in Singapore is one of the lowest in the world

The Overall Crimein 2013 fell by 4.3% (down by 1,347 cases) to 29,668 cases from 31,015 cases in 2012.

The Overall Crime rate for 2013 also fell from 584 cases per 100,000

population in 2012 to 549 cases per 100,000 population in 2013. This is the

lowest crime rate registered for the past 30 years.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Nearly 80 percent of men and about 50 percent of women are employed. Women have joined the workforce in large numbers but are underrepresented in leadership positions in all areas and institutions.


The culture of Singapore is a melting pot of mainly Chinese, Malay, Indian, and British cultures, and is a reflection of its immigrant history.

Attitude and Belief


The system of meritocracy in Singapore ensures that the best and brightest, regardless of race, religion and socio-economic background, are encouraged to develop to their fullest potential. Everyone has access to education, which equips them with skills and knowledge to earn a better living

Democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality

The concepts of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality are enshrined as stars in the Singapore national flag. Freedom in the World 2006 ranked Singapore 5 out of 7 for political freedom, and 4 out of 7 for civil liberties (where 1 is the most free), with an overall ranking of "partly free"

Singapore: A "Fine" City

Culture in Singapore is largely defined by peace, justice, and social and religious harmony. The saying that Singapore is a "fine" city, not only refers to its cleanliness or its quality of life. In fact, to ensure safety and order in the state, the government has prohibited various things. If you don't want to pay a heavy fine or even spend time in jail, you should avoid the following:

+ chewing gum

+ spitting

+ littering

+ jay walking

+ dancing on counters or tables at a bar

+ smoking indoors

+ drinking and driving

+ public drunkenness

+ taking drugs

Keep in mind that the last point is particularly serious. It is enough to carry even a small amount of specific drugs to face the death penalty.


Known as one of the global food capitals, Singapore is legendary for the sheer diversity, richness, and creativity of its culinary scene. One of the main drivers behind the spurt in Singapore tourism is its popularity in terms of food. Some of the Singaporean dishes that have acquired a cult status are Bak kut teh, Nasi lemak, Satay, Hokkien mee, Laksa, and Rojak. Singapore food does not disappoint on the seafood front either. One can sample a mind-boggling array of dishes rustled up with oysters, squids, clams, crabs, stingrays, and almost every living aquatic creature! In terms of cuisine, Singapore offers Indian, Chinese, French, Thai, Spanish, Indonesian, and Italian, and Fusion food to its locals and the large number of tourists that visit Singapore each year.


The major public holidays reflect the mentioned 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).

Christians constitute a large and rapidly growing minority, and Christmas Day, Good Friday, and New Year's Day are also public holidays.

On August 9, Singapore celebrates the anniversary of its independence with a series of events, including the National Day Parade which is the main ceremony.


These following things are some useful tips for you when communicating or working in Singapore. Don't do such things

1. Wearing black to a wedding. (it's considered bad luck and for Indian weddings no white saris for women either as that's for widows – thanks for reminding me think pink)
2. Pointing at someone with your finger.
3. Touching an adult on the head.
4. Kicking or touching a book with your foot (in Indian Culture)
5. Visiting someone without bringing a gift (in Indian Culture)
6. Dogs as pets although cats are ok, which is why you will see a no dog sign at most Indian Muslim prata shops (in Muslim culture)
7. Presenting someone with a bouquet of Frangipani. My French cousin's favorite flower is the frangipani, but as a child growing up we were often told that if we got a whiff of the scent of this flower it meant a ghost or spirit was lurking and it scared the heck out of us. The white of the frangipani is associated with funerals in Asian culture.
8. Calling an older person by their name instead of addressing them as uncle or aunty is considered very rude
9. Visiting your friend's house and not saying "hello aunty" or "hello uncle" when you see their parents is a sign of bad manners.
10. Being too abrupt or direct at work (or even at home) may get you in trouble with the boss or client (it's the opposite of American culture, where directness and speaking your mind is valued and expected). You should pay attention to subtle hints, facial expressions and non verbal queues like significant silence. It comes naturally to locals, but might be a frustrating uphill battle if you're not used to all these cues.
11. Speaking too loudly in public. You will notice that Asian usually whisper and hardly say a word when in a lift.
12. Public Displays of Affection or what is known as PDA in Singapore is frowned upon. Basically kissing and beyond. But we're getting more used to this as the country becomes more cosmopolitan. Don't try this in Malaysia though. It's considered illegal for locals to kiss, hold hands or hug in public, in East Malaysia.
13. Don't give watches or clocks as a gift as it's considered ill will in Chinese culture (thanks Kirsten!)
14. When you give an ang pow during Chinese New Year always give even numbers, odd numbers denote loneliness.

Read 60846 times
Global Links Asia

Support to Incorporate companies in Singapore, ...

Viet Nam office: 151 Dao Duy Anh St. , Phu Nhuan dist., Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam

Singapore office: 133 New Bridge Road, #10 Chinatown Point, Singapore 059413

Hotline: (+84) 0938 531 588   (+65) 3163 4102
Login to post comments

Connect with us

We're on Social Networks. Follow us & get in touch.

facebook     linkedin     youtube