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singapore culture

Despite its small size, Singapore has a diversity of languages, religions, and cultures.Former Prime Ministers of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, have stated that Singapore does not fit the traditional description of a nation, calling it a society-in-transition, pointing out the fact that Singaporeans do not all speak the same language, share the same religion, or have the same customs.Even though English is the first language of the nation, according to the 2010 census, 20% of Singaporeans are illiterate in English. This is however an improvement from 1990, when 40% of Singaporeans were illiterate in English.From 1819, it served as a trading port for British ships on their way to India. Being a major trading hub and its close proximity to its neighbor Malaysia, Singapore was prone to many foreign influences, both from Britain and from other Asian countries. Chinese and Indian workers moved to Singapore to work at the harbor. The country remained a British colony until 1942.When Singapore became independent from the United Kingdom in 1963, most Singaporean citizens were uneducated labourers from Malaysia, China and India.Many were transient labourers, seeking to make some money in Singapore, with no intention of staying permanently.There was also a sizeable minority of middle-class, locally-born people—known as Peranakans or Baba-Nyonya—descendants of 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants. With the exception of the Peranakans who pledged their loyalties to Singapore, most of the labourers’ loyalties lay with their respective homelands of Malaysia, China and India. After independence, the government began a deliberate process of crafting a Singaporean identity and culture.Each Singaporean’s behaviours and attitudes are influenced by, among other things, his or her home language and his religion. Singaporeans who speak English as their native language tend to lean toward Western culture, while those who speak Chinese as their native language tend to lean toward Chinese culture and Confucianism. Malay-speaking Singaporeans tend to lean toward Malay culture, which itself is closely linked to Islamic culture.Racial and religious harmony is regarded by Singaporeans as a crucial part of Singapore’s success, and played a part in building a Singaporean identity.The national flower of Singapore is the hybrid orchid, Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’, named in memory of a Singapore-born Armenian woman, who crossbred the flower in her garden at Tanjong Pagar in 1893.Many national symbols such as the Coat of arms of Singapore and the Lion head symbol of Singapore make use of the lion, as Singapore is known as the Lion City. Singapore is also known as the Little Red Dot. Major religious festivals are public holidays.Singapore has a reputation as a nanny state.However, the government places heavy emphasis on meritocracy, where one is judged based on one’s ability

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