Monday, September 8, 2008

The Singapore Culture

I simply cannot wait to move on with my life. I want to start studying, participate in university clubs, earn money, whatever that I feel is meaningful, I want to do it. Right now I am stuck because of the huge immovable SAF rock blocking my path. I am tired of having to think of the trivial problems that the SAF present to me. These insignificant thoughts clog up my brain space and waste my brain cells. I have already lost a lot of my motivation and drive because of National Service. Fortunately, it's coming to an end. I will most likely end up back in Australia after my National Service since I would prefer not to stay in Singapore.

A lot of people ask me what is so bad about Singapore and I usually tell them that it's the people. I wonder if I actually fall in the category that I stereotyped. This category that I call the typical narrow-minded Singaporean is the group of people that will never greet you on the street or think you are mildly insane if you actually greet them. The easiest example to describe them is the way a group of girls react when a male stranger approaches them. In singapore, the girls would immediately be "on guard" as this male stranger who has just approached them is "without a doubt" interested in one of them, the girls would quickly assess this man in their own manner and determine whether or not he is a likable candidate. This poor male, who most likely would have noticed the awkward reactions, would be placed in such a awkward phase that any confidence that he had before would be now lost. The end result is usually ugly.

In another country, maybe america, the girls are more open-minded and they would first accept the male as a person and greet him. Unless this man is speaks in a very provocative manner, the girls would treat him as just a normal person striking up a conversation.

It's fairly obvious that the Singapore culture is very close minded in constrast with the western culture as we don't even believe in speaking to a complete stranger. Maybe this is what I really dislike, our inability to converse as a community but rather in our own little groups. I guess it could be that I just don't like the psychological feel of constraints that I feel our Singapore culture is governed by. Simply put, you can't truly be open in Singapore.

Perhaps I have been so busy scrutinizing these narrow-minded Singaporeans that I forget to analyze myself and distinguish any similarities with the group that I so openly dislike. It's natural to form stereotypes, I believe that we humans do it as a survival instinct. We create social groups with behaviorial characteristics in our mind so we can attempt to fit in if the need ever rises. Most people tend to believe that their individualism draws them from any stereotype but the truth is that they only see what is unique about themselves and not bother about the stinging similarities they have with any stereotype. This irony in itself is probably a never-ending cycle that we humans will never transcend.

1 comment:

newage said...

you cant be more wrong. i totally agree with you on this. singaporeans are just so retarded at times. singapore may be one of the finest cities in the world, but ironically, she has one of the ugliest people!