Evolution of an identity

The push and pull of the Chinese Singaporean identity

Performers in a pageant in front of a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping, during celebrations on Oct 1 marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Performers in a pageant in front of a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping, during celebrations on Oct 1 marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Bicentennial year is an opportune time to reflect on how far Singapore has come to forge a local identity, say observers

In 1975, then Foreign Minister S. Rajaratnam stressed to an audience in Beijing that Singapore's identity is a multicultural one.

While Singapore's predominantly Chinese ethnicity serves as a bridge for understanding and cooperation with China, it is the Republic's "consistent policy" to keep alive its various languages and cultures, to suit its collective needs, he told the Chinese officials.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 13, 2019, with the headline 'The push and pull of the Chinese Singaporean identity'. Print Edition | Subscribe