Our monthly newsletter contains health and financial news, expat articles, social media recommendations and more.
Singapore - Culture, Society and Religion
Despite the fact that it is a modern city, you can still find ethnic neighborhoods. For instance, Little India on Serangoon Road still bears the cultural distinctions that it did long ago, as do Arab Street and Chinatown. You can even still see certain characteristics that were popular during its British colonial time period.
Because there are so many racial and ethnic groups, you’ll discover many different festivals, religious services, and traditions. While these might be put on by the ethnic groups they belong to, they can be enjoyed by everyone. The abundance of cultures means that there is a wide variety of dining choices in Singapore as well. You can find an assortment of restaurants, cafes, and other eating establishments that are sure to appeal to every palate.
The arts are also widely appreciated and expats and Singaporeans alike enjoy the latest cinema releases, theater productions, and musical performances. With so many cultures represented, there is always something interesting going on in the art world.
There is a variety of religions in Singapore, too, and you’ll find Catholicism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Shenism, and Hinduism represented. You might also find agnostics and free-thinkers whom do not ascribe to any particular religion. Most Singaporeans celebrate the major festivals associated with their respective religions. Many Muslims also live in Singapore and religious tolerance is celebrated. Some of the most interesting buildings in the country are places of worship and you’ll discover many beautiful mosques, temples, and churches that can be explored, attended to, and enjoyed.
The country itself tends to be a mix of both liberals and conservatives. Neither largely right wing nor left wing, most would describe Singapore as “moderate” in its views on homosexuality, abortion, and other hot topics. Meritocracy, the idea of judging someone based on their ability, is important and evident in their education system. However, racial inequality is something that will rarely be seen. In fact, racial equality is something that is almost a national pride in Singapore since most people have mixed heritages.
Sometimes, Singapore is referred to as a “nanny state” due to the restrictions and rules that the government places on its citizens. These are especially apparent when it comes to the restrictions and procedures that can be seen in regards to vehicle ownership and driving. In fact, the rules regarding driving, in addition to the high prices of certain certifications, can be so stringent that many people choose not to drive at all and use public transportation.
Education is a major focus in Singapore and students are judged on their abilities, as mentioned above. Expats will find that the best schools are competitive to get into. There are many language schools, private instructors, and a few international schools for those who are relocating with children. Although English is the official language in Singapore, it’s not uncommon for foreigners to take lessons to learn other languages, too, including Mandarin, French, and even Indian dialects.
One of the things that the country is known for is its strict rules regarding cleanliness and structure. It is true that there are restrictions on vehicles and even chewing gum. However, these help keep Singapore clean and one of the least polluted places on earth. Most of its residents recycle, too.
Read more about this country