People, Language and Religion

"Its cultures are diverse but united."

  • People
    Although geography has played a part in the success of Singapore, its mainstay is its people. Lacking natural resources, Singapore's strength is its hardworking, adaptable and resilient population. Singapore's population of almost four million comprises 77% Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians and 1% Eurasians and people of other descent. The original inhabitants were Malay fishermen, but after the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles and the establishment of a British trading post, Singapore became a magnet that drew hundreds of thousands of migrants and merchants. Seeking a better life for themselves and their families, they came from the southern provinces of China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Ceylon and the Middle East. Though inter-marriages have taken place over the years, each racial group within Singapore has retained its own cultural identity while developing as an integral part of Singapore community.
     

  • Language
    There are four official languages in Singapore: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, and speak their mother tongue as well as English. Malay is the national language.
     

  • Religion
    With this mixture of people, Singapore is also a mixture of religions. Singapore's skyline boasts the distinctive minarets of mosques, spires of gothic cathedrals, intricate figurines of Hindu temple gods and distinctive roof architecture of Chinese temples. The main religions are Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Zoroastrainism.

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  Information provided by Singapore Tourism Board.

 

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