The Many Faces of Singapore
Singapore is a small yet densely populated city-state. Singapore comprises of 1 main island and about 50 small neighbouring islands. The main island, Singapore Island, is separated from Malaysia on the north by the thin Johore Strait and on the south separated from Indonesia’s archipelago. Singapore is Southeast Asia’s most important harbour, financial center and manufacturing centre. Its citizens endure one of the world’s highest standards of living.
It is only 685.4 square kilometre but it has become the home to almost 4.5 million of people. Since its secession from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore has sustained political and economic strength despite its multi ethnicity. What are the faces of Singapore? Here’s a glimpse:
Chinese represents about three-fourths of the population. Majority of Chinese Singaporeans follow Buddhism. There are also others that follow Taoism and Christianity.
Malays form the next largest group. Malay fishermen originally inhabit the island but with the coming of Sir Stamford Raffles, many merchants and migrants moved to the island. With the coming of other migrants from China, Indonesia, India and other neighbouring countries, business and commerce progressed. Malay Singaporeans are predominantly Muslim.
Indians constitute the last group. Indian Singaporeans profess Hinduism. The government recognizes the four languages-Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. Each group is different from the others but they welcome everyone. For example, if there are celebrations of festival for Hindus or Christians, it is common practice to welcome everyone in their home to share and celebrate the occasion. Their harmony despite the diversity made Singapore what it is today.
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