Culture and Traditions of Singapore
Singapore is a cultural melting pot with expats from all over the world, it also has a strong national heritage that is steeped in history and tradition.
Singapore has been one of Asia’s premier destinations even before the pre-colonial period. Its position upon the Strait of Malacca makes it an important port , which led to its colonization by the British in the 19th century. Since then, Singapore has experienced major growth and evolved into one of the world’s leading financial centers.the Singapore Arts Festival which aspires to be an international arts event with a distinctly Asian identity brings together great local and overseas works and artists who seek to inspire, challenge, surprise and entertain.
Language in Singapore
The four official languages of Singapore are Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English. English is the most common language used and is the language which unites the different ethnic groups. Children are taught in English at school but also learn their mother tongue to make sure they don’t lose contact with their traditions.Expatriates and foreigners may encounter language problems in the beginning of their stay in Singapore as many Singaporeans use Singlish to communicate. Singlish is a mix of English with other languages mixed into the English, sometimes phrases can end with funny terms like ‘lah’, ‘leh’, mah’. Chinese commonly use their own dialects to communicate, and sometimes, inter-dialect groups don’t understand one another’s language, as the language is vastly different. Except for Hokkien and Teochew, which have a closer link. The Malays use the language among their fellow races and the Indians speak Tamil. But whatever the race or religion, the country’s community unite as one nation, where most religious or racial gaps are being bridged.
Singapore is also a multi-religious country.Religions tolerance, understanding and respect are also in build into Singapore culture. The main religious are Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity and Hinduism. Majority of the Chinese population in Singapore are Buddhism or Taoism but there are also a good number of them are Christians. Most of the Singapore Malay is Muslim while for Indian most of them are Hindus. There are also a group of people who don’t believe in any religious and they call themselves as free thinker. It is also a very common sight to see Church, Taoism temple, Hindu temple and Muslim mosque located side by side. This is a unique scene in Singapore showing the level of racial and religious harmony and mutual respect for others believe in Singapore.
Singapore celebrates the festivals of every ethnic group with gusto throughout the year. Proud of Singapore multicultural and multiracial society, Singaporeans join in the festivities of one another with respect and enjoyment. The list below are the festivals that belong to the different ethnic group celebrate in Singapore. It is also part of Singapore culture to join in the celebration of each other festivals.
Lovers of classical music might have gala time in Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s weekly concerts in the Victoria Concert Hall, Empress Place and open-air concerts. The Orchestra which came to exist in 1979, adopts middle path between Asian and Western music. For Oriental, go to the Singapore Chinese Orchestra’s fortnightly performance at the Singapore Conference Hall.
Hungry Ghost Festival
The Chinese come together every year, usually during mid-January to mid-February to celebrate Chinese New Year, otherwise known as the Lunar New Year, making this one of the most hyped traditional festivals in Singapore. Chinese families all over Singapore will have their houses specially spruced clean and beautifully decorated to butter up the occasion, while Shopping Malls and city streets will be prettily dolled up with bright red ornaments and extravagant decorations.
Known as one of the global food capitals, Singapore is known for the sheer diversity, richness, and creativity of their culinary scene. One of the main drivers behind the spurt in Singapore tourism is its popularity when it comes to food. Some of the Singaporean dishes which have acquired a cult status are Bak kut teh, Nasi lemak, Satay, Hokkien mee, Laksa, and Rojak. Singapore food doesn’t disappoint on the seafood front either
Thaipusam festival is said to be the most jaw-dropping traditional festivals in Singapore. Celebrated by the Hindus on 30th January, in honor of their Hindu god, Subramaniam, or Lord Murugan, the practices and rituals performed for this day includes piercing their body with large steel hooks and other sacrificial acts like walking on hot coal.