Seafood, pork or lamb skewers and noodle-and—broth-based dishes are most in demand. Laksa is the common street food, which is basically a bowl of vermicelli noodles with prawns or fishcakes. Among drinks, Tiger beer is a popular choice for drinkers and teetotallers love The Tarik – the traditional Singaporean black tea with milk, made by aerating it between two cups. One thing to know about eating out in Singaporean restaurants is that tipping is not a custom. Most places include a 10% service charge and the country is known for paying its servers at minimum wage rate. Leaving tips is frowned upon and might be misinterpreted.
Among cultural festivals, there is Singapore Food Festival every year from June-end to July-end, Singapore Art Festival every January, and Singapore Night Festival which comes alive with different themes every year for two weekends in August, at Bras Basah Bugis art enclave. The Buddhists celebrate Hungry Ghost Festival and offer eatables to the spirits of their deceased. Between May and June, the Dragon Boat Festival or the Zhongxao Festival in Chinese takes place at Bedok Reservoir, where dragon-shaped boats oared by a dozen or so people aside, compete in the race. Mid-Autumn Festival or the Lantern Festival is one of the largest celebrations in the country, which marks the 15th and the last day of Chinese New Year festivities. The sky of Singapore gets covered with flaming dots of paper lanterns set free.
Arts and Crafts in Singapore
In music, Singaporeans love folk, pop, rock and classical. The musical scene is spearheaded by Singapore Symphony Orchestra, established in 1979, with its chief venue at Esplanade Concert Hall. The Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay is the nation’s largest platform for the celebration of performing arts.
Cleanliness in Singapore
Singapore is by far one of the cleanest countries, not only in Asia but the rest of the world. Starting right from the spick and span Changi Airport right up to the spotless streets and by-lanes, there is absolutely no littering anywhere. To maintain the cleanliness, chewing gum is banned in Singapore. Since an open trade agreement with the USA in 2004, only a limited amount of medical chewing gums are allowed, but that too has to be prescribed by a dentist. The country gives away Clean & Green Singapore awards every year to the districts which achieve the most in terms of public hygiene and environmental cleanliness.
Fine City: General OffencesSingapore has its own set of rules and regulations, which heavily criminalises many actions which are considered petty crimes or no-offence acts in most other countries. The general offences of Singapore are:
- Possession of chewing gum or trying to bring them into the country without a doctor’s prescription.
- Jaywalking - Walking or crossing the street unlawfully, that is not using the zebra crossing, or not following the traffic lights while crossing, or not using the pedestrian sidewalk.
- Smoking in public places and areas where ‘No Smoking’ signs are put up for restriction.
- Urinating or spitting in public.
- Littering on the roads instead of using the dustbin.
- Committing affray or a fight between two or more people in a public place, such as bar brawls or street commotions.
Queuing in SingaporeSingaporeans value discipline more than anything. The people are actually obsessed with being orderly and precise. They have no issue with standing in a queue for something that is good. Everywhere else we tend not to queue because as humans we have the need to get that something before someone else gets it, but Singaporeans know that it’s a waste of time and a hassle to not be in a queue and so, in Singapore you get to see some of the most orderly queues you can find.
Singapore's Customs & Traditions
- One cannot put his/her chopsticks in an upright position while having food as doing so can cause him some glares from the people around because the only time Singaporeans put their chopsticks upright is during funerals.
- Taking off his/her shoes before entering a house including temples and mosques.
- Not bringing dogs near their Muslim friends as they consider dogs to be unclean.
- Bringing along food and flowers to Hindu or Buddhist temples as an offering for the gods.