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About Singapore > Culture, Language and Religion of Singapore

Culture, Language and Religion of Singapore

Singapore – a cosmopolitan society where people of different culture and communities live together with love and happiness. The island is quite rich in cultural diversity as people from different places have migrated and settled here. No doubt you find a unique mixture of different cultures mainly consisting of Chinese, European, Indian and Malay influences that interact easily among themselves.

Amidst the various cultures flourishing you can notice the glimpse of ethnic races living in different areas like the ones in Chinatown or the Muslims in Arab Street. Little India bears its own unique ambience and character. It is really beautiful to see each racial group having its own religion and celebrating its colorful festivals enjoyed by all with equal spirit and zeal. Moreover, Singapore is widely known for its varied food culture, offering countless delicious cuisines of local and international standard.

Since people of different communities and different religions live here with equal ease, they celebrate all the festivals with same enthusiasm. It points out towards the diversity of races and religions in Singapore. Chinese living here mainly follow Buddhism, Taoism and Shenism. Others are Christians or Catholics. Even some of them do not belong to any religion. The Indian community mainly consists of Hindus while Malays are mostly Muslims. However, a large number of Indian populations consist of Muslims and Sikhs.

As Singapore has so many religions existing together, religion tolerance becomes quite essential here - so much so that while crossing the racial boundaries, they often even merge unusually. Religious building like churches, mosques and temples play a great role in appreciating the religious diversity of Singapore.

Like religion and culture, you find a variety in languages also. English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil are the four official languages of the country. English being the international language is most commonly used to communicate with each ethnic group. Although children are taught in English at school but they also learn their respective mother tongue.

Do not be surprised to hear sentences ending with terms like 'lah', 'leh', mah' which is a unique form of Singlish, used by many Singaporeans. In Singapore, when other languages are mixed into the English, it becomes Singlish. Some words of Singlish are
  • ang mo - a white person
  • cheem - difficult, complicated
  • chope - to reserve something
  • habis - finished
  • kiasu - afraid to lose mentality
  • liao - finished, the end
  • makan - to eat
  • rojak - mixed, a mix of
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