travel tips for singapore trip

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  • Singaporean Etiquette to Learn for Your Trip

    By Vincere

    Singapore is a multi-ethnic country with 76 percent, 15 percent Chinese, Malay and Indian inhabitants is

    6 percent. These ethnic groups enjoy racial unity and national peace. The younger Singaporean

    generation considers themselves first and Singapore believes in building a common national culture that

    is beyond the individual ethnic differences. Here is a look at some labels and common standards of


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    Meeting People

    Greetings usually follow a strict protocol. If you encounter people like Chinese, you can offer a

    handshake with a slight bow. Men and Malay women do not offer a handshake to another due to

    traditions Islam, however, two women and two men can shake hands. Likewise, the same sex only can

    shake hands in ethnic Indians. After meeting with the person of the opposite sex, nodding with a smile is

    generally appreciated.

    Non-verbal cues

    Singaporeans pay attention to nonverbal cues, including facial expression, tone of voice, and posture.

    They are subtle and implicit in their communication to maintain respect for the other person. Silence is

    an important part of their communication because it indicates that you give enough consideration

    before speaking.

    Touching someone's head is rude and insulting because the head is considered sacred; while walking is

    considered the lowest part and unclean and showing the bottom of the feet may offend your

    Singaporean host.

    Food and Dining

    Food and eating is the most common way of interaction between people which gives the best chance to

    build a relationship with your Singaporean host. In Singapore, the food is the center of leisure. The food

    is usually served on the table in dishes to be shared by all.

    Appetizers and drinks are scarce and dinner is usually served immediately without entry to the arrival of

    guests. You are required to wash your hands before meals in both Indian and Malaysian homes. They

    use their right hand to eat while some dishes are eaten directly in the hand without the participation of

    a fork or spoon. After a meal with an Indian host, it is expected to remain for an hour of conversation.

    Gift Tags

    Gift tags vary between ethnic groups in Singapore. If you give gifts to ethnic Chinese, make sure to wrap

    it in colored wrappers like red, pink and yellow. Scissors, knives or giving any sharp object should be

    avoided because it shows that you are severing your relationship with the receiver.

    Your gift may be refused three times before being accepted. This is done to show that the receiver is not

    greedy. The gift of flower is not well taken because they are associated with the disease and funerals.

  • When giving gifts to ethnic Malays, avoid the alcohol, toy dogs, or anything made out from skin of pigs.

    Wrap the gift in red or green paper while white should be avoided because it is a sign of death and

    mourning. Offer the gift with your right hand if you have something to give. Avoid black and white

    wrapping paper; rather use bright colours because they are thought to bring good fortune.

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    Because of the ethnic diversity in Singapore, it is important for you to know the ethnicity of your host to

    follow the protocols correctly. Singaporeans are generally friendly and welcoming and show great

    hospitality if you follow their customs.