Singapore

 

History of Singapore

Singapore Flag
Flag

Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is 137 kilometers (85 mi) north of the equator. The country's territory consists of the lozenge-shaped main island, commonly referred to as Singapore Island in English and Pulau Ujong in Malay, and more than 60 significantly smaller islets. Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north, and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to the south. The country is highly urbanized, and little of the original vegetation remains. The country's territory has consistently expanded through land reclamation.

The English name of Singapore is derived from the Malay word Singapura literally Lion City), hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City. However, it is most likely that lions never lived on the island, and the animal seen by Sang Nila Utama, who founded and named Singapore, was a tiger.

Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is 137 kilometers (85 mi) north of the equator. The country's territory consists of the lozenge-shaped main island, commonly referred to as Singapore Island in English and Pulau Ujong in Malay, and more than 60 significantly smaller islets. Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north, and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to the south. The country is highly urbanized, and little of the original vegetation remains. The country's territory has consistently expanded through land reclamation.

Island groups of Singapore

Singapore Map Singapore Map - Click for larger view

Singapore is an island of 646 sq. km, about the size of Chicago. It is located at one of the crossroads of the world. Singapore's strategic position has helped it grow into a major center for trade, communications, and tourism. Its geographical location is 96km north of the equator, between longitude 103 degrees 36' East and 104 degrees 25' East. Singapore is often touted as a concrete jungle with close to 90% of the population living in flats and an ever-changing skyline of monumental buildings. Government and private enterprises also conduct an orchestra of automation that makes Singapore one of the world's most efficient societies. Yet Singapore has also been known as a green city. There is a wealth of flora and fauna here that is beyond our own imagination.

Two causeway bridges link Malaysia, which is just north of Singapore. The key islands of the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia are also just a quick ferry trip away, whereas Thailand and the Philippines are a short plane journey away. Singapore, with an airport served by more than 69 airlines, is very much the gateway to Southeast Asia

The island was part of the Sri Vijaya Empire until it was invaded by the south Indian Emperor Rajendra Chola I, of the Chola Empire, in the 11th century. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burned down the settlement and the island sank into obscurity for the next two centuries. Nominally, it belonged to the Johor Sultanate during this period, while the maritime region and trade was under Dutch control.

People & Culture

Economists describe Singapore as a modern miracle because it has built its success on only one resource, its people. Lacking natural resources, Singapore's strength is its hardworking, adaptable, goal-oriented, and resilient population. In fact, it is highly regarded by the Business Environment Risk Intelligence as one of the best labor forces in the world.

Singapore's population of approximately 3,612,000 (June 1996) comprises 77.3% Chinese, 14.1% Malays, 7.3% Indians, and 1.3% people of other descent. Singapore's indigenous people were the Malays, but after the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles and the establishment of a British trading post, Singapore became a magnet that drew thousands of migrants and merchants. It still retains its special multiracial quality acquired from its early days when Arabs, Chinese, Europeans, Indians, and Straits-born Chinese (or Peranakan) came to live side by side with the indigenous Malays. 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 the Singapore community. It is a country where the three main races (Chinese, Malay, and Indian) complement and supplement each other.

There are four official languages in Singapore: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English. The working language is English and it is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, speaking both their mother tongue and English.

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

Music
Singapore has a diverse music culture that ranges from rock and pop to folk and classical. Its various communities have their own distinct musical traditions: the Chinese people form the largest ethnic group in Singapore, with Malays, Indians, and smaller number of other peoples of different ethnicity as well as Eurasians.[1] The different people with their traditional forms of music, the various modern musical styles, and the fusion of different forms account for the musical diversity in the country.

Dance
Dance in Singapore comprises traditional and contemporary forms.(citation needed) It has a relatively short history of creative, artistic and professional dance. The range of dance reflects the cultural diversity of Singapore. There is a consistent struggle between the rejection and acceptance of western dance influences and the re-emphasis of ethnic cultures from time to time. The Singapore identity through dance is a challenging one often on an outward looking perception rather than the acceptance and recognition of indigenous/original creativity. Notable non-profit artistic dance legacy include ECNAD and Arts Fission Company.

Sports
Singaporeans participate in a wide variety of sports for recreation as well as for competition. Popular sports include Supercar Motorsports, football (soccer), cricket, rugby union, swimming, badminton, basketball, cycling and table tennis. Most people live in public residential areas that often provide amenities including swimming pools, outdoor basketball courts as well as indoor sport centres which provide facilities for badminton, squash, table tennis, asian football, gymnastics, indoor basketball and volleyball, among others.

Weather and Climate

Singapore Climate




 

 

As Singapore is located a mere 1.5 degrees north of the Equator, its weather is usually sunny with no distinct seasons. Rain falls almost daily throughout the year, usually in sudden, heavy showers that rarely last longer than an hour. However, most rainfall occurs during the north east monsoon (November to January), occasionally featuring lengthy spells of continuous rain. Spectacular thunderstorms can occur throughout the year, any time during the day, so it's wise to carry an umbrella at all times, both as a shade from the sun or cover from the rain. Thunderstorms are very common sights in Singapore, and it rains in the country a lot, so, once again, an umbrella is necessary.

The temperature averages around:

29.5°C (85.1°F) daytime, 22.5°C (72.5°F) at night in December and January. An occasional low of 21°C (69.8°F) can also be expected.

32°C (89.6°F) daytime, 24°C (82.4°F) at night for the rest of the year. The temperature usually hovers around the 28°C (82.4°F) mark.

Public Holidays




Singapore Public Holidays
New Year’s Day January 01
Chinese New Year January 31
Chinese New Year February 01
Good Friday April 18
Labour Day May 01
Vesak Day May 13
Hari Raya Puasa July 28
National Day August 09
Hari Raya Haji October 05
Hari Raya Haji (observed) October 06
Deepavali October 22
Christmas Day December 25

Travel Advisory

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Singapore, exercise normal security precautions.