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SingaporeSingapore's name comes from the Malay, Singapura, which is literally translated as "Lion City." Oddly, lions never lived on these lands, but the islands was named by the historic king, Sang Nila Utama, who was hunting on the lands in the early 1300s and thought he saw a lion, which was more likely a tiger.

新加坡 / Singapura / சிங்கப்பூர்

Introduction:

Life in Singapore is fairly similar throughout the city-state during the day, but once away from the office, this tiny country is home to a very diverse population as each house and neighborhood seems to hold a different culture and lifestyle. These home lives and foreign cultures are rooted in the fact that the island of Singapore has only been inhabited in great numbers for about 150 years and the present population is quite diverse. However, the hectic business center that best displays the day time culture is one that is ultra-modern and is based on the world's reliance on technology, communication, and economic opportunities.

Singapore began to grow in population in the late 1800s when the British took over, but its growth and expansion was limited due to the limited land area on the island. This limited land space didn't prevent growth though as the island, sitting on international trading routes, was in an ideal location for trade and the Industrial Revolution had just overtaken the United Kingdom so technology quickly arrived to Singapore.

As a center for trade, the people that flocked to Singapore were of nearly every ethnicity seeking out economic opportunities, but the Malays and Chinese dominated this initial influx in addition to the Brits who settled the island. There was also a significant Indian population that settled the island, making another cultural impact on Singapore. These people brought with them their foods, cultures, and languages. Even today these groups, and other immigrant groups, remain somewhat isolated from each other in personal life as differing neighborhoods are true to varying cultures and home life is often consumed with the people's ethnic culture.

Singapore grew every quickly and once it became a bit over-populated the only direction the country could grow was up. With technology from the Industrial Revolution buildings began to be built taller and in recent decades the skyline was again re-drawn as modern skyscrapers have been built. Today the island is very densely populated as the city is covered with skyscrapers and makes for one of the world's most impressive skylines.

Although the city has grown up, literally, trade by sea has decreased dramatically due to air travel and technology, shifting the economy and lifestyle of the island nation in a new direction. Singapore remains a center of trade, but no longer as a physical trading post as much as a virtual one as the financial district is large and numerous business ventures are now based in Singapore as the population has a large percentage of "white collar workers."

Despite the many changes to this small country in terms of work, economy, and appearance, the native culture of so many people has been resolute over time and remains much as it has in the past. However, the people also maintain a secondary culture, which is that of being Singaporean. The people unify as one people in many ways as most communication is done in English, cultural differences often take a backseat to economic progress, and the people share many odd laws and traits that make this small country entirely unique.

Learn More About Singapore:

The Land:
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The Past:
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The Food:
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The Culture:
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Map of Singapore:

Singapore Map

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Information for Singapore was last updated: October, 2012 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks