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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 18, 2019
Headline for 7 things that make Singapore unique – A few everyday quirks of Singaporean life
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 things that make Singapore unique – A few everyday quirks of Singaporean life

Singapore is known as one of the cleanest and richest countries in the world. This tiny but successful nation has a very unique culture created by the fusion of many others.



Singapore is mainly populated by 3 ethnic groups; Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The influence of each of these cultures has blended to create not only a very distinct food culture but also a very unique way of speaking. Most Singaporeans are at least bilingual being able to speak English and either Malay, Mandarin or Tamil. You will often see Singaporeans mixing up their known languages to create Singaporean Slang: Singlish. You will also probably hear Singaporeans add a 'lah', 'leh' or 'lor' to their sentences.


Saving a seat – Singapore style

Though this would not apply at Park Hotel Farrer Park one of the most esteemed hotels in Serangoon Road, Singapore, in hawker centres Singaporeans reserve tables or seats by leaving a packet of tissues. In some cases people even leave their personal ID or even mobile-phone on the table or seat to reserve it; a testament to how safe Singapore is.


Ice Cream Sandwich

Unlike the rest of the world who prefer their ice cream in a waffle cone or cup Singaporeans prefer theirs between a slice of bread and not just any kind of bread - pink and green 'rainbow' bread. Though you will find all the common vanillas and chocolates you will also find very whacky flavours too such as corn, red bean and yam. But this tiptoeing around decadence really does help beat the tropical heat.


The Spice

Singapore is one destination you must visit if you enjoy spices; the city's food culture is simply an adventure through the realm of every spice imaginable. Chilli sauce, hot sauce, chilli oil, jalapenos Singaporeans love it all. Name the spice and it's most likely that any hawker stall will have it – if your food is ever feeling bland just head over to the condiments stand and pick a sauce of your liking.


Public Holidays

Because of the various ethnic and religious groups that call Singapore home the nation observes many different religious and cultural holidays throughout the year. The residents will give and receive gifts between friends and family for Christmas and watch the fireworks over the Marina on New Year's Eve, exchange red packets during the Chinese New Year and decorate the city in lights for Deepawali.



This very unique fruit is not for everyone. The smell is quite pungent and foreigners do tend to find it off-putting. However Singaporeans just love it – the Esplanade is actually designed like a Durian. The fruit is on sale everywhere from supermarkets to small street-side shops. It is however banned on public transport.


Hawker Centres

If you're ever in doubt about what to eat, look for the hawker stall with the longest queue. Singapore has hawker stalls at every street corner and these outdoor vendors offer such amazing, cheap and delicious meals in an outdoor atmosphere that is quintessentially Singaporean. You will discover cuisine from all over the world.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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