Singapore converted into an independent country and republic after the Second World War. In 1819 the British arrived and set up a port and colony in the Island, since then it was under the rule of British Malaya due to which the port of Singapore Island prospered and attracted many immigrants and traders from China, Indonesia, Indian sub-continent, Middle East and Malay Peninsula. The immigrants were drawn to the island by the appeal of superior prospects and brought with them their various languages, cultures, festivals and customs. Amalgamation and intermarriage facilitated in knitting these dissimilar cultures into one fabric which resulted in a multi-faceted, vibrant and cosmopolitan culture of Singapore.
Singapore is truly diverse and it wouldn’t be wrong to acknowledge it by the term “multicultural Kaleidoscope”. With a population of about 5.18 million, Singapore is a country where 42% of the population are foreigners making it a nation with sixth highest proportion of non-nationals in the whole world. Its populace covers Chinese, Indians, Malays, Eurasians, Caucasians and other Asians.
Most of the Singaporeans are bilingual and usually speak English and another language generally Malay, Singapore Informal language i.e. Singlish, Mandarin Chinese or Tamil.
The first language is English and the official form of English spoken is Singapore Standard English with usage of British syntax and spellings. English is the main language used to teach at School and also for administration purposes. The local informal form of English spoken is Singlish which is closely related to Manglish.
The official form of Chinese language is Mandarin which is the second most shared language spoken by the Singaporean Chinese. Bahasa Melayu is the national language of Singapore which recognises the fact that Malay populace is the native community the country.
For the South Asians, Tamil is the official language as the majority of them are indigenous Tamils from Sri Lanka and India.
There are many festivals celebrated in Singapore because of a diverse culture and presence of people from different ethnic groups but the main public holidays somewhat reflect racial diversity which include Buddhist Vesak Day, Chinese New Year, Hindu Diwali and Muslim Ed ul-Fitr. Since Christians are a fast growing minority, their festivals like New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day are also declared as public holidays.
It’s a multi religious nation a natural result of its commercial success and topographical location. Approximately 33% of the Singaporeans follow Buddhism, which is the main belief of the Singaporean Chinese while other Chinese follow Christianity, Confucianism, and about 11% of them follow Taoism.
About 8% of the populace are Christians and about 15% of the population are Malays who are Muslims. Hindus comprise of 5% of the Singaporean population among them are considerable number of Sikhs and Muslims.
There are a large number of religious structures due this diversity, which includes Churches, Hindu Temples, Jewish Synagogues, Sikh Temples and Mosques a few of which have high historical implications. About 17% of the Singapore populace regard themselves as freethinkers and don’t follow to any religion.
One can see cultural diversity in Singaporean food too. Singaporean cuisines are a cultural attraction and one favourite dish is barbecued Stingray served on banana leaf with chilli since seafood is quite popular among Singaporeans.
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