Are you S'porean enough? Here's a quick checklist...
AS WE celebrate our nation's 47th birthday, it should be fairly easy to describe the Singaporean identity, but is it really?
If behaviour is a reflection of our inner selves, I suggest a few traits of the true Singaporean.
- Speaking Singlish: Most Singaporeans can "turn on or off" their Singlish, depending on the context. The point is not that we speak poor English, but that Singlish happens because of the multiracial - and therefore multilingual - milieu in which Singaporeans have been raised.
Singlish contains words from at least two or three languages and dialects, and is not merely the ubiquitous suffix "lah".
This "multilinguistic" ability reflects Singapore's multiracial harmony; an ability to adapt and be understood.
- Queueing: Queueing is an indication of an orderly system. Most of my foreign friends cite discipline as one of the reasons behind Singapore's success.
- Charity: Singaporeans have a sense of gratitude for our achievements. We remember how poor and insignificant we were as a nation once. So we are always ready to reach out to the needy both at home and abroad. Therein lies the "kampung spirit" - when we see a need, we rise to meet it.
Let us celebrate our nation's birthday, and be proud to be Singaporeans.