Being Singaporean

Singapore may be a small country of 5.5 million people, of which roughly 3.9million are actual citizens, but this doesn’t mean we don’t have our own culture. 

Since returning to Singapore in 2009, I’ve wanted to start a series documenting my observations of what it means to be Singaporean. 

I left Singapore in 2002 to study in Australia and from then onwards I’ve always felt like a stranger in my own country. Even now that I’ve been back for 6 years, gotten married, settled down and had children, I still find myself shaking my head at the things that Singaporeans do, myself included. 

I’ve got a bit of a unique vantage point. Firstly, for having been immersed in another culture for a good part of my adult life. Second, for being married to a non-Singaporean. HY often finds herself puzzled and frustrated by the every-day habits of the locals and it’s been quite an adventure seeing them from her point of view as well. 

Despite it’s clean and sterile image to the west, Singapore society and Singaporeans in general are an interesting bunch, full of quirks. I really want to explore some of the more hidden parts of my culture and see how well they hold up to light-hearted scrutiny. 

Because in knowing my country I hope to know myself better as well.