If we go to a foreign land, how do we know with 100% accuracy that the stranger standing in front of us is a Singaporean? Actually, it is quite easy considering our unique culture and the deep influence that it has on our daily behaviour.
There are a few common traits we display wherever we go and do, therefore it is not surprising that we tend to attract a lot of unwanted attention. Without further ado, here are the top 5 common traits of Singaporeans:
Kiasu is not a crime
From the day we are born, we are instil with the fear that we must emerge as a winner in whatever we do by our parents. From young, we are send to the best tuition centre to achieve perfect score in our exams even though it may mean taking on more debt for our parents. Even when we come out to work, we ensure that we are always ahead of our competition by working harder and faster.
This phenomenon is known as kiasu and what is that? Basically this is a behaviour whereby one needs to be first in everything due to fear of losing and it is one of the most common traits among Singaporeans.
Queuing is our favourite past time.
Singaporeans are known to develop a fondness for queuing. From the latest iphone model to the best hawker stall, do not be surprise that we can skip our sleeping and lunch time just to fulfil our desire by queuing for hours in a stretch. For example, look no further than the recently launch SG50 commemorative notes whereby queues started forming as early as 6 am in the early morning.
When we see a queue forming up, by nature we will join in the queue as well without the slightest idea what the queue is for. In our mind, a queue means something good must be brewing and we should not miss such an opportunity.
Complaining is in our DNA
Complaining is our national hobby and it is part of our DNA. We never cease to complain from the little details in our daily lives to major incidents that resolves around us. In fact, we feel we are entitled to complain since everyone feels he can offer the perfect solutions.
Nonetheless most of the complaint is just to let out the steam that had accumulated inside us for a while and in the end most of us will just get back to business as usual. However there are a few who will take action after that and turn such negative thoughts into a sort of drive to propel themselves to greater heights.
Comparison is never ending
Due to increasing social influence, we are pressurized to keep up with the Joneses and this problem is compounded by social media such as Facebook, Instagram etc. As a result, a lot had to take on mountain load of debts in order to feed their cravings for material wealth.
For example, when we meet another fellow Singaporean, the first thing one party will start asking the other is where is he working now and his job title. From there, one will more or less know the other’s earning power. Surprisingly, no one feels uncomfortable about it and in fact it acts as a form of motivation to move up the social ladder.
Singlish is our national language
As the culture of Singapore is a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Hindu and Eurasian, little surprise that our language is also a mishmash. Often Singaporeans will end their sentence with a “leh”, “lah” or “loh”. For example, “Please don’t be angry with me lah”, “Tell me leh” etc. To outsiders it may sounds strange but to us it sounds more affectionate.
Therefore to identify a Singaporean from afar, we just need to hear their conversation from afar and that will give their identities away. Again this is one of the most common traits of Singaporeans which we use for identification.
So there you have it the top 5 common traits of Singaporeans. These traits come to us naturally and it really helps when we are overseas making friends with fellow Singaporeans. To outsiders, it may seem funny or offensive sometimes, but if they try to understand our culture hard enough, I am sure they will develop a liking for these traits. So share with us your thoughts.