Assignment theme... Uniquely Singapore for the rest of the world


posted on 28th of october, 2007

A topic that I am always grumbling about and complaining that my little country has little to offer in terms of unique features and cultures. However, that is only subjected to photography. I'm definitely proud to be a Singaporean!

Anyway, to all foreigners who wish to know a little bit more of Singapore's street level dark secrets...read on

To me, Singapore is unique in its people, people of all races and religion. On top of having top and first class organizations owned by the country such as Singapore Airlines and the port which is one of the busiest in the world. The Singapore Night Safari is the first in the world but nothing to boast of nor is it the merlion being a hybrid of lion and mermaid which is nothing more than an icon and nothing else significant of.

Singaporeans have our character and traits, because of all religions and languages spoken, we are so mixed. In a Malay word we use rojak which is also the name for a food with all sorts of ingredients mixed together. Our language is termed as Singlish, a very random language of SINGaporean-engLISH. Dialects and different languages are added in for every sentence. It ends with Lar, Loh, Leh which nobody else in the world will understand because its so much of a lingo than a language.

Singaporeans are 'kiasu' which also means they are afraid of losing. So much so that they are afraid of losing possessions/positions, they must rush into the train for seats, Q up for items way before and everything else in order to beat the crowd - the very crowd that behaves exactly the same to counter-act this issue.

And in brand extension to 'kiasu', over the years they have come up with 'kiasee' and 'kiapoh' which means afraid to die and afraid of wife respectively. These are english interpretations of a dialect language.

Singapore to many tourists who have visited, would already have known this country to be a very clean and green country. It is a fine country indeed. So fine that it is being coined the negative way on T-shirts. There it says on the front in big and bold letters "Fine City" and below are all the icons of no-smoking, no littering, no vandalizing, no stealing, no speeding, no etc etc etc... all of which is accompanied with the phrase below of Fine $500, Fine $250, Fine $5000. The people are fined to keep the country fine.

Singaporeans are also known to be very alert, so alert that they can fall asleep in a split second. Why? Because on our trains, it is so famous among us that it is a well known legend of Singaporeans to immediately close their eyes upon seeing a pregnant lady coming on board. Close your eyes and your seat is secured they think...

Okay, that is enough of jest and dirty little secrets. Those are facts of life in Singapore but they do not represent the majority(Singlish is though, I need to make a confession here). Yet, such are the little things that make it big in the news. News that become legend over time which is why these facts are so grilled into our minds about being a Singaporean. It definitely is unique, its fun-filled and challenging. Not being sarcastic but seriously isn't it?

We have to be 'kiasu' ourselves to beat those 'kiasu' people. We speak Singlish to communicate with another Singlish speaking person. We pry our ears open and open our eyes bigger, thinking twice before we tip that little cigarette off our fingers (environmental agency officers are in plainclothes to fine anyone on the spot if caught!). Slowing down in front of the many fixed speed cameras and speeding off right after that.

It makes our lives more exciting, challenge is unique in its own way.

Whatever mentioned above are all facts but they are not meant to discriminate my own country in anyway. I believe life is serious but at times it can be seen on a lighter note. Likesaid, I'm a proud Singaporean and I have served my National Service as a soldier. It definitely is more challenging and fun than being a civilian. I poke fun at facts of life to better bring across a Uniquely Singaporeans to non-Singaporeans. Once again, no offence!~ :)

Here's my assignment photo btw

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This article has been read 1160 times.
Photo credits: Koh Sze Kiat.

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Independent photographer based in Singapore. Available for corporate, commercial and lifestyle photography.

(Fertographer)
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