|Happy 50th birthday Singapore!|
Photo credits to my amazing friend Tien Leng
1. A language that no one else understands
You can spot a Singaporean when overseas based on the way they speak. And our local colloquials are so unique that only the locals get the jokes on The Noose. I love it! Our unofficial national language, Singlish, is so amazing that even BBC took notice.
2. Peace and security
For someone like me who hates jogging in the day because it is so darn hot, being able to go out jogging even at midnight is a huge bonus for me. And unlike the U.S., where my friends live with the fear of being shot anytime (my friend’s children bedroom window recently took a gunshot hit while the kids were sleeping, can you imagine that?!)
3. We truly love our other races
|Photo credits: A Juggling Mom|
I grew up with Malay neighbours and it was an unforgottable part of my childhood. I constantly thank my lucky stars that I was born in Singapore, instead of any other countries where your race determines the kind of life you lead. Or even in Malaysia, where you can see Malays and Chinese fighting, whereas here in Singapore Malay youth stood up against a bigger-sized Caucasian when his fellow Chinese brother was insulted. It makes me smile whenever I think of the stark contrast despite both countries being only a stone throw away from each other.
4. Meritocracy and equal opportunities
I’m glad to be born in a country where it doesn’t matter what my gender or race is, or the colour of my skin. With access to the same opportunities as everyone else, the world is mine to make.
5. Amazing food
The #1 thing I missed about Singapore when I was studying abroad was our local food, to the extent that I even used chicken rice mix to try and replicate the dish in order to satisfy my cravings. Char kway teow, nasi lemak, roti prata, hokkien mee, bak kut teh, mee rebus, chendol…there’s not enough fingers on my hand to even list out all my favourites!
6. Easy access to other countries
Thanks to our government’s strong diplomatic ties, we Singaporeans can travel to over 170 countries without having to go through too much hassle in applying for a visa.
7. Hot and cold? No problem!
I love the cold, but I hate being all wrapped up, so Singapore’s mixture of a hot climate and ice-cold shopping malls is just perfect for me! Too hot? Step indoors. Too cold? Step outdoors. Problem solved!
8. Everyone is either “Uncle” or “Auntie”
Photos taken from Icons of SG which has an amazing collection of uniquely Singaporean stuff, check them out!
Don’t know how to address people? Easy. Too many relatives that you can’t remember the order of each aunt or uncle? (That’s a very real problem for me, by the way, thanks to my mom and her 12 siblings.) There’s always an easy answer that won’t get you in trouble.
9. Shorts and slippers are perfectly acceptable outfits
I LOVE shorts and slippers, and the fact that I can wear them almost anywhere in Singapore using the heat as an excuse is a super big bonus. I even wear them to teach my tuition kids all the time!
10. Drinkable tap water
I remember having to be careful not to accidentally swallow some tap water while rinsing my mouth while studying or travelling overseas. This is not a problem at all in Singapore, where even camp students feel safe enough to fill up their bottles at the toilet sink.
11. A vibrant dance culture
|Photo credits to my talented photographer friend Jootz See. |
This was a recent show I performed in just last month! But you can't spot me hehe.
Having been to the U.S. and Europe, I can honestly say that the standard of Singaporean dancers on the whole are comparable. Our dance scene has grown so much in the last few years that the standard of each dance production has become such a joy to watch nowadays. I still also think that Xavier Teo (from Studio Wu) and Mazlan (from Danzpeople) are stars in their own right.
Okay fine, I admit my personal bias on this one.
12. Clean streets free from chewing gum.
Because there’s nothing quite like someone’s spit-out gum sticking to my shoes to make my day.
13. Clean toilets
We even founded the World Toilet Organisation (WTO). I remember the horrors of discovering China’s toilets before realizing what a blessing we have here in Singapore.
14. Pasar Malams
The joy of our rare street food! Enough said.
15. Hilarious YouTube stars like Dr. Jiajia, MunahHirzi and Wah Banana
These guys keep me entertained all day. Feel free to check out their YouTube channels if you're bored later while waiting for NDP to start; after all, data is free today for all Singtel and M1 users, HOORAY!
Happy birthday Singapore! I love you. Thank you for giving me such a great place to live and grow up in.
With lots of love,