Reflective Essay and Singapore in the Media

The family is an important part of Singaporean society. Children are trained from a young age to overcome their individualism and to be there for others. Furthermore, Singaporeans revere the face since possessing one is a symbol of dignity. In Singapore, face equals respect (Poon and Whitehead 2017). Singaporeans also have strong hierarchical relationships, which can be seen in the relationships between employers and employees, parents and teachers, and parents and children. The elderly are treated with the utmost respect in society. This is shown by being given choicest food, being given preferential seating as well as being introduced first wherever there is a gathering. Besides, Singaporeans rely more on facial expression, tone, and posture (Chee 2016). They can tell more about what a person is meaning through basing on these factors. This means that when having a conversation, it is important for one to observe his/her nonverbal expressions. Moreover, greetings follow firm protocol basing on both origin and the age of a person. This paper seeks to critically discuss Singapore culture as highlighted in the New York Times, offer a critical reflection on Singapore culture, and compare Germany and Singapore culture by use of using the Hofstede's' dimension.

Singapore Culture

The New York Times dated June 21, 2011, reports that there were a few hundred people seated and others standing in the row of plastic chairs taking the beer that was retrieved from an ice-filled inflatable kids' pool (Mangan 2013). This crowd assembled to see various presentations from the artists who among them were a fashion designer, a filmmaker, a photographer and a painter (Poon and Whitehead 2017). This biannual gathering is known as Rojak, and it is for the inventive Singaporeans. At the same time as the government is trying hard to lure international architects and artists to Singapore, artists, entrepreneurs, and local gallery owners are discovering inventive ways to promote homegrown fashion and art as well as confront a buttoned-up Singapore, well again known for its luminous high rises along with mall culture self-determining arts scene (Chee 2016).

It is further reported that many people who are involved in independent cultural scenes are working on the grassroots level to create a genuine cultural identity for the country (Mangan 2013). Other locations of this six-year event have been offices of an ad agency as well as backstreets of little Indian region (Chang 2015). Singapore's newest arts center, the gallery anchors, has grown to contain about a half dozen photos in the past few years. These galleries include Light editions charged with displaying regional photography, and Ikkan Art International (Chee 2016). This museum is housed in a warehouse which serves a container port that is neighboring it. Visitors find it easy to spend some hours watching arts that range from young artists' work to works by masters before taking a bowl of the pungent bak kut teh, which is pork rib soup.

It is further noted that the Singaporean society is multi-religious, multicultural and multiracial. This multiplicity is a necessary aspect of Singaporeans respective identities (Chua 2016). Each race is encouraged to preserve its traditions and culture at the same time as fostering joint appreciation as well as respect among all of them. Being Singaporean does not subtract but adds value, turns less to more and expands the contracted. All this has seen each race retaining and evolving its heritage and culture, also allowing themselves to be influenced by traditions and customs of other races (Mangan 2013). This has resulted to typical Singaporean variants of Malay, Eurasian, Chinese and Indian cultures, as well as a rising Singaporean identity which is shared with all, linking up and suffusing their distinct character personalities in addition to ethnic cultures.

Singaporeans are confident with their identities and cultures when dealing with individuals from other countries, even as they are aware that they are ethnic Malays, Eurasians, Chinese or Indians. There is much similarity between Chinese and Singapore culture (Trood and Booth 2015). This makes Singapore relevant to China and interesting too, this is what Josephine Teo and the Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs told the House (Mangan 2013). She added that the Singaporean values lie in China's independent viewpoint along with unbiased voice. Moreover, she said that valuable opportunities are created for Singaporeans to share perspectives with their Chinese friends. These views are unlikely to be found anywhere. Right now, there is Singaporean Chinese culture, Singaporean Indian culture and Singaporean Malay culture (Chee 2016). This is a great achievement for a young country like Singapore, which is just approximately 50 years old now. People's deep values and their collective experiences, individual talents and traditions, the new and the old merging for the purpose of creating new recognitions as well as fresh forms are expressed and reflected in culture.

Singapore government encourages good behavior and foster positive social norms. It recognizes cultural achievement as well as supporting arts. In schools, children are invited to participate in co-curricular activities like Singaporean orchestra, dance, symphonic, band, and calligraphy (Pereira 2017). Cultural institutions get enough support from the government. Lastly, facilities that offer space for cultural activities are created; these are the Esplanade and the National Gallery.

My Reflection on Singapore Culture

Singapore is a multilingual nation. Despite having English as the first language, there is other languages spoken in the country, which makes it a multilingual, multiracial and multicultural society. A study conducted in 2008 revealed that there more than twenty languages spoken in Singapore.There are four official languages of Singapore; these are Tamil, Mandarin, Malay, and English. Various ethnic groups are united by English which is widespread across the nation. English is the language of instruction in schools though children are taught their mother tongue too, to make sure they do not lose touch with their traditions. The problem in communication arises when you try to communicate with the old members of the society who did not learn English. The only way you can communicate with them is through Patois, a unique language that has a mixture of Hokkien, Malay, and English. Hindi and Malayalam is spoken by Indians though Tamil is their primary language.

The majority of Singaporeans celebrates major festivals. These festivals are associated with their respective religions. Different races in Singapore have different faiths. Shenism and Buddhism have a massive following from the Chinese though some Chinese are Christians. Most of Indians of Singapore are Hindus, and Malays are Muslims. However, there is also some good number of Sikhs and Muslims amongst Indian population. The minority group of Singapore, the Sikhs, AND Jews are not forgotten as they have at least two synagogues.

Besides, there are other two well-represented groups of Singapore. These are the Jains and Zoroastrians. There is great respect between the religions, and sometimes they merge to strengthen the respect they have towards each other. The younger generation tends to combine some aspects of the older generation with what they know today. Overall, religion is an essential part of Singapore.

When we talk about entertainment, Singapore is the hub of entertainment for Asia. Western, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese and Malay music is practiced in the country. Besides, best creations are those done by the road side, entertaining passersby. This is the mixture of the Chinese with local instruments like flutes and locally made guitars. Nevertheless, there are plenty of tropical fruits in Singapore. These fruits include mangoes, rambutan, star fruit, jackfruit, durian, and pomelo.

Additionally, food and entertainment go hand in hand in Singapore. Diet and entertainment options are offered in many places enabling one to enjoy both in the same location. This entertainment culture of Singapore has made it attractive for more visitors who appreciate visiting the country.

In Singapore, entertainment is taken as the national identity as well as a mixture of the cultural thread. According to Singaporean novel, food is taken as a national obsession and food as a national pastime. Most of the Singaporean conversation is dominated by food as a frequent topic. Religious are also followed in dietary issues as Muslims do not eat pork and Hindus too do not eat beef.

Nevertheless, Singapore is a country of its own with many rules. For instance, Singaporeans do not take any drinks or appetizers. They usually have their meals set on the table together with other dishes containing food. It is taken as being polite and kind when you leave some food on the plate when you finish eating with someone. Besides other Asian culture, tipping after the meal to impress other people is not favored in Singapore. Also when you are at a social dinner, sharing your food with anyone is not okay. Eating in Singapore is by use of chopsticks.

Lastly, one can land into serious trouble for joking as jokes can be misunderstood. This means that you have to make sure you know the person you are fooling with, not just joking anyhow. When having the conversation with people, it is important to avoid political and religious politics, as no one likes taking them. Also, kissing and hugging are not allowed in public places. You will be fined for doing so. In Singapore, anger is not allowed to be shown in public areas. The head is sacred and should not be touched, clearing throat or and blowing nose is not allowed in public places. You will be required to raise your hand to get ones attention as Singaporeans only talk to people who raise their hands.

Comparison of Germany and Singapore with Hofstede

Long Term Orientation

This dimension describes the way every society maintains its link with its past at the same time as dealing with its present and future challenges. These essential goals are prioritized differently by nations. Singapore's score is 72 showing availability of cultural traits in support of long-term venture in Singapore (Trood and Booth 2015). These long-term investments are such as being sparse with resources, perseverance, slow results, sustained efforts, thrift, having a sense of shame and ordering relationship with rank. This has seen Singapore grow well economically (Mangan 2013). Singaporeans emphasize virtue and the way things are done they always keep their options open as one can follow many different routes but reach to a common destination. On the other hand, Germany has a score of 83 indicating its pragmatism (Chee 2016). For instance, if we may have two answers, let's say A is correct and B is wrong, Singapore will perceive that when A and B are combined, they will produce something superior, but Germany will go with only A which is correct.

Uncertainty Avoidance

This dimension draws the picture of how societies handle the fact that you can never know the future; the question of whether it should try to control the future or not. We have scores that show how societies work to deal with this ambiguity (Mangan 2013). For instance, Singapore has a lower score of 8. As a result of high PDI, people in Singapore abide by many rules. There are fines for almost everything in Singapore thus people have nicknamed the country as a "fine country."

On the other hand, Germany has a high score of 65 showing that it is among the countries that avoid uncertainties. Germans have a strong preference for deductive approaches in planning, thinking and presenting (Chee 2016). They employ detailed thinking of before creating certainty in the law system too. Germans compensate for their higher ambiguity by strongly depending on expertise.


On masculinity dimension, Singapore has a score of 48 tending to lie more on the feminine side. This denotes that soft faces of culture like sympathy for the lesser, leveling with others and the consensus is encouraged and valued. Modesty and humility are taken to be more important. One is not expected to make him/herself as knowing much and can teach others (Trood and Booth 2015). One is also required to avoid conflicts at work and private life. Moreover, the consensus has a great importance at the end. Additionally, it is important to be more conscious during discussions and avoid too much persistence.

On the other hand, Germany has a score of 66 showing that it is a masculine society. The school system does separate children at the age of because of Germany values performance (Chee 2016). People draw self-esteem in their work as they to some degree live to work. It is also expected that managers have to be assertive and decisive. In Germany status is habitually shown, especially by technical devices, cars, and watches.


Singapore has a score of 20 for this dimension showing that it is a collective society. People in Singapore belong to in-groups who look after each other. This is the evidence of the second principle of Confucianism teaching. All social organizations have a key which is the family. All people are members of families; we don't have individuals. Children are taught of overcoming individuality and take themselves of a family. This helps ion bringing harmony among members of the society. It is believed that balance is created when everyone saves face in the sense of prestige, dignity, and self-respect (Mangan 2013). Giving face are the words that are used to refer to giving respect. The groups always work to maintain harmony thus open misunderstandings are avoided. There is much respect for faces of others, and above all as a manager, respectability and calmness is critical.

German society has a score of 67 proving how it is an individualist one. The relationships have more focus on parent children. Relationships with uncles and aunts are not that common (Trood and Booth 2015). They believe more in self actualization. Loyalty and respects depend more on the relationships between people as well as ones preference of someone else. Germans too have a direct form of communication giving the corresponding person a fair option to learn on or after mistakes.

Power Distance

Singapore scores 74 on this dimension. This is due to the foundation made by Confucian teaching (Chung and Mohanty 2014). Five primary relationships are distinguished by Confucianism starting from ruler-subject at the higher point and senior friend-junior friend on the lower point. The relationships are based on complementary and mutual obligations. High PDI comes as a consequence. There is centralization of power thus managers have to rely on rules and their bosses (Chee 2016). Employees always expect to be directed on what they should do. There is expectance of control, and there is a formal attitude towards the managers (Chung and Mohanty 2014). Besides, there is indirect communication as well as the selective flow of information.

Germany on the other side is among the lower power distant countries with a score of 35. Germany is highly decentralized and gets much support from a strong middle class. Direct communication is universal, leadership is challenged, and control is not liked In Germany.


In summary, Singapore culture is typical, and it shows how attractive the country is. The traditions, the way people relate to each other, and the way people gather for events show how dedicated the Singaporeans are to their culture. Singapore government has taken a great step in ensuring that it preserves the purity of the traditions through the creation of cultural centers and social hall that bring people together. Also, children in school are not left out as besides being taught in English; they are also taught their native languages to ensure that they are at par with their tradition and cultures. Lastly, the freedom of worship among diverse communities of Singapore adds on the advantage of living in Singapore.


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