Should women serve in the Singapore National Service

Singapore - the most important information for travelers 2021

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Outer SingaporeAddressesRiverside (Borough) Orchard RoadMarina BayBugis and Kampong GlamChinatownLittle IndiaSentosa and Port AreaEast CoastNorth and WestBalestier, Newton, Novena and Toa Payoh

Singapore, sometimes referred to as the "Little Red Dot", is a small country on a tiny island of nearly six million people. It's a pretty crowded city, and in fact, it's the second most densely populated country in the world after Monaco. Unlike many other densely populated countries, Singapore is more than 50% of its area covered with green and has more than 50 large parks and 4 nature reserves; it is a charming city in a garden. Large self-contained residential towns sprang up like mushrooms across the island around the clean and modern city center. The city center is in the south and consists of the Orchard Road shopping district, the Riverside, the new Marina Bay district and the Shenton Way financial district, which is filled with skyscrapers. All of this is known in the abbreviation-loving Singapore as the CBD (Central Business District) or, more simply, the city.

Districts - Outside Singapore

There's more to see outside of Singapore city center, from the HDB (Housing and Development Board) heartland, where pet food is king, to the Singapore Zoo. Or relax in the parks and beaches on the east coast and in Sentosa.

Districts Addresses

In the center, Singapore's addressing system is quite similar to western countries (e.g. 17 Orchard Road), but the new housing developments on the outskirts could be more intimidating: a typical address might be "Blk 505 Jurong West St 51 # 01-186". Here "Blk 505" is the number of the apartment block (Blk = block), "Jurong West St 51" is the street name / number and "# 01-186" means floor 1 unit number 186, stall or shop 186. The first digit both of the block of flats and the street number is the number of the neighborhood (in this case 5), which makes it easier to narrow down the correct location. There are also 6-digit postcodes that generally correspond to exactly one building. For example: "Blk 9 Bedok South Ave 2" is "Singapore 460009". Finally, you will also come across Malay terms in addresses: the most frequently used are Jalan (Jln) for "road", Lorong (Lor) for "way", Bukit (Bt) for "hill" and Kampong (Kg) for "village" .
Useful tools for finding addresses include,, and The "Blk" and the unit number can and should be omitted when entering addresses in these sites: "505 Jurong West St 51" will suffice.

Districts - Riverside (borough)

Riverside (borough)
The colonial core of Singapore, with museums, statues and theaters, not to mention restaurants, bars and clubs, is located along the banks of the Singapore River at Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.

Districts - Obstgartenstrasse

Mile-long shopping centers in air-conditioned comfort. An arts and culture project is underway at the eastern end of the Bras Basah district.

Districts - Marina Bay

Marina bay
Dominated by the integrated Marina Bay Sands resort (hotel, casino, shopping center, convention center and museum), the futuristic gardens on the bay and the marina barrage. Together with the Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade Theaters, Marina Bay forms the new iconic skyline of Singapore.

Districts - Bugis and Kampong Glam

Bugis and Kampong glamor
Bugis and Kampong Glam are Singapore's old Malay district, which is great for shopping during the day, but especially comes to life at night.

Districts - Chinatown

The area was designated for Chinese settlement by Raffles and is now a Chinese heritage area popular with tourists. Restored shops are trendy meeting places for locals and expats alike.

Districts - Little India

Little India
A piece of India north of the city center.

Districts - Sentosa and Port Area

Sentosa and port district
A separate island that was once a military fortress and has been turned into a resort. Sentosa is the closest Disneyland to Singapore with a pinch of gambling and the Universal Studios theme park. Across the water is Mount Faber and the Southern Ridges, an urban canopy walkway with native monkeys.

Districts - East Coast

East coast
The largely inhabited eastern part of the island is home to Changi Airport, miles of beaches and many famous restaurants. It also includes Geylang Serai, the true home of the Malays of Singapore, and Pulau Ubin, the last remnant of a rustic Singapore.

Districts - North and West

North and west
The northern and western parts of the island, known as Woodlands and Jurong, respectively, form the residential and industrial hinterland of Singapore. The Mandai area is home to the Singapore Zoo, the River Safari and the Night Safari.

Districts - Balestier, Newton, Novena, and Toa Payoh

Balestier, Newton, Novena and Toa Payoh
Budget accommodations and Burmese temples within striking distance of central Singapore. One of Singapore's earliest planned neighborhoods, Toa Payoh is an easy way to wander around a local housing estate and experience Singapore's unique design of the city center.

Get to know and understand the uniqueness of Singapore.


Singapore is a microcosm of Asia, populated by Chinese, Malays, Indians and a large group of workers and expatriates from all over the world, in a country that can be traversed in barely an hour. After celebrating its 50th birthday in 2015, Singapore has for the most part put economic practicality over social concerns, encouraging the constant reuse and redevelopment of land through huge projects like the integrated resorts of Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa and becoming one major Asian financial center. But there has also been a growing push back to preserve the local heritage in Balestier and elsewhere; this is just one of many decisions that must be balanced for the future of the country.

A brief history of Singapore. What is Singapore most famous for?

The first mentions of Singapore in written historical records date back to the second and third centuries, when a vague reference to its location was found in Greek and Chinese texts under the names Sabana and Pu Luo Chung, respectively. Legend has it that the srivijayan prince Sang Nila Utama landed on the island in the 13th century and when he saw a strange being he believed to be a lion, he decided to found a new city, which he called Singapura, Sanskrit for lion city. Unfortunately, there have never been lions near Singapore or anywhere else on Malaya, so the mysterious beast was more likely a tiger or a wild boar.
Other historical records indicate that the island was settled at least two centuries earlier and was known as Temasek, Javanese for "sea town" and an important port for the Sumatran kingdom of Srivijaya. However, Srivijaya fell around 1400 and Temasek, defeated by the warring kingdoms of Siam and the Javanese Majapahit, was forgotten. As Singapore, it then briefly regained importance as a trading center for the Sultanate of Melaka and later for the Sultanate of Johor. But then Portuguese looters destroyed the settlement and Singapura was forgotten again.
The history of Singapore as we know it today began in 1819, when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles made an agreement with a candidate for the throne of the Sultanate of Johor: the British would exchange his claim for the right to set up a trading post on the island, support. Although the Dutch initially protested, an Anglo-Dutch treaty was signed in 1824 that divided the Malay world into British and Dutch spheres of influence (which led to today's borders between Malaysia and Indonesia and Singapore and Indonesia, respectively). This treaty ended the conflict. The Dutch renounced their claim to Singapore and ceded their colony in Malacca to the British in exchange for the British ceding their colonies in Sumatra to the Dutch.
Well placed at the entrance to the Strait of Malacca, on the trade routes between China, India, Europe and Australia, Raffles' masterpiece was to declare Singapore a free port without imposing trade tariffs. As traders flocked to avoid the onerous Dutch taxes, the trading post soon became one of the busiest in Asia, drawing people from near and far. Along with Penang and Malacca, Singapore became one of the Strait's settlements and a jewel in the British colonial crown. Its economic fate was given a further boost when palm oil and rubber from other parts of Malaysia were processed and shipped via Singapore. In 1867 the settlements of the Strait were split off from British India and converted into a directly ruled crown colony.
When the Second World War broke out, the Singapore Fortress was considered an impressive British base with massive naval forces designed to protect against attacks at sea. However, not only did the fortress lack a fleet - as most of the ships were tied up to defend Britain against the Germans - the Japanese wisely chose to cycle through Malaya instead. Though the British hastily reversed their artillery, they had not prepared for it, and on February 15, 1942, when supplies were critically low after less than a week of fighting, Singapore surrendered shamefully and the former rulers of the colony were transferred to Changi Detained in prison. Although tens of thousands perished in the brutal occupation that followed, the return of the British in 1945 was a triumph.
Singapore, which received self-government in 1955, briefly joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 when the British left, but was expelled after two bloody racial riots in 1964 because the Chinese majority city was seen as a threat to Malaysian dominance. Consequently, when the island gained independence on August 9, 1965, Singapore became the only country in the history of the modern world to gain independence against its own will. In the following 31 years of iron rule by the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore experienced an economic boom, with the country quickly becoming one of the richest and most developed countries in Asia, despite its lack of natural resources, and thus a place among the four East Asian countries Tigers conquered. Today the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) is led by Lee's son Lee Hsien Loong and continues to dominate the political scene with 83 of 89 seats in parliament. However, social restrictions have been relaxed and the government is trying to shake off its rigid image. It remains to be seen how the delicate balancing act between political control and social freedom will be accomplished.

Understand - people

Singapore prides itself on being a multi-ethnic state and, despite its small size, it has diverse cultures. The Singaporeans make up two thirds of the population. The largest group are the Chinese (about 75%), with the largest subgroups being the Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese speakers, with Mandarin serving as the lingua franca of the community. Other notable dialect groups among the Chinese are the Hakkas, Hainans, and Foochows. The Malays, made up of descendants of the original people of Singapore as well as migrants from what is now Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, make up about 14% of all Singaporeans. Indians make up about 9% of the population. Among the Indians, the Tamils ​​form by far the largest group, although there are also significant numbers of speakers of other Indian languages ​​such as Hindi, Malayalam, and Punjabi. The rest is a mix of many other cultures, most notably the Eurasians who are of mixed European and Asian ancestry, and also the Peranakans or Strait Chinese who are of mixed Chinese and Malay ancestry.
Singapore has always been an open country, and at least a third of its population has come from elsewhere. They range from Burmese to Japanese to Thais and many others. There are also large numbers of Filipinos, many of whom work in the service industry or as domestic helpers. Crowds of happily smiling and clapping Filipinas can be seen in public places, one of which is a mall called Lucky Plaza along Orchard Road, where they spend their only day off on Sundays. However, a significant increase in immigration from China and India has led to a simmering dissatisfaction and an increase in the number of speakers who only speak Mandarin.
Singapore is religiously diverse, no religious group forms a majority, and freedom of religion is guaranteed in the constitution. Buddhism is the largest religion, around a third of the population declares themselves to be Buddhists. Other religions that exist in significant numbers are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Taoism. In addition to the "big five" there are also a much smaller number of Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Jews, Baha'is and Jains. Around 17% of Singaporeans say they do not belong to any religion.

What is the weather and climate like in Singapore? What is the weather like in Singapore all year round?

Since Singapore is 1.17 degrees north of the equator, the weather is usually sunny with no distinct seasons. Rain falls almost daily throughout the year, mostly in sudden, heavy showers that rarely last more than an hour. However, most of the precipitation falls during the northeast monsoons (November to January), with the occasional prolonged rainy season. Spectacular thunderstorms can occur at any time of the day all year round, so it is advisable to always have an umbrella with you, both as a shade from the sun and as a cover from the rain.
Between May and October, forest fires in neighboring Sumatra can also cause dense haze, although this is unpredictable and comes and goes quickly: check with the National Environmental Agency for current conditions.
The average temperature is around:
32 ° C (86 ° F) during the day, 25 ° C (76 ° F) at night in December and January.
33 ° C (90 ° F) during the day, 26 ° C (81 ° F) at night for the rest of the year.
Singapore's lowest temperature ever recorded was 19.4 ° C and was recorded in 1934.
The high temperatures and humidity, combined with the lack of wind and the fact that temperatures stay high during the night, can put a heavy strain on visitors from colder parts of the world. Keep in mind that being outdoors for more than an hour or so can be very stressful, especially when combined with moderate exercise. Singaporeans themselves shy away from the heat, and for good reason. Many live in air-conditioned apartments, work in air-conditioned offices, take the air-conditioned subway to air-conditioned shopping centers, which are connected by subway tunnels, where they shop, eat and move to air-conditioned health clubs. Follow their example if you want to avoid the inconvenience of Singapore's scorching heat and humidity.

Understanding - Units of Measure

Singapore is completely metric for the most part, but two holdovers from the British imperial system are property sizes, which are still measured in square feet, and dress sizes, which are still measured in inches.

Understanding - Politics

Singapore is a parliamentary republic modeled on the British Westminster system, although the Parliament of Singapore, unlike the British bicameral parliament, only has a single popularly elected house with 89 seats.
The president serves as the head of state of Singapore and is elected by the people every six years, although the constitution requires that presidential candidates have served as government ministers or as CEO or chairman of the board of a large corporation for a substantial amount of time before they can stand for election , effectively limiting the number of people who are eligible to run for president. The current president is Halimah binti Yacob, who was sworn in as the first female president of Singapore in September 2017. The president's role is largely ceremonial, with the prime minister having the greatest authority in government.
The prime minister is the head of government and usually the chairman of the party with the most seats in parliament.The current Prime Minister is Lee Hsien Loong, chairman of the People's Action Party (PAP), the only party to have governed since independence. Parliamentary elections take place every five years, depending on the circumstances, and are regularly challenged by the opposition parties. Control of the press and restrictions on freedom of speech help the ruling party to make no significant progress in impeachment. However, the elections in Singapore are generally free of corruption and electoral fraud. Since the 2015 elections, the only opposition party represented in parliament is the Workers' Party (WP).

Understand - Holidays

Singapore is a secular city-state, but due to its multicultural population, Singapore celebrates Chinese, Muslim, Indian and Christian holidays.
The year begins with a bang on January 1st and the New Year, which in Singapore as well as in the west is celebrated with fireworks and parties at every nightspot in the city. The wet and game foam parties on the beaches of the holiday island of Sentosa are particularly famous.
Due to the influence of the Chinese majority, the biggest event by far is the Chinese New Year (农历 新年) or, more politically correct, the Lunar New Year, which usually takes place in late January or early February. While this seems like an ideal time to visit, many smaller shops and restaurants are closed for 2-3 days during this time, while convenience stores like 7-Eleven, supermarkets, department stores, cinemas, fast food restaurants and top restaurants remain open. The whole festival extends over a full 15 days, but the rapid ascent to the climax takes place shortly before the new moon night, with admonitions from Gong xi fa cai (恭喜 发财 "Congratulations and prosperity"), red tinsel, tangerine oranges and the zodiac sign of the Year round and in Chinatown, where there are also extensive street decorations to spice up the festive mood, crowds of shoppers stand in line. The next two days are spent with the family, and then life returns to normal ... except for the final Chingay eruption, a colorful parade near the Singapore Flyer that takes place about ten days later.
On the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar, the Dragon Boat Festival (端午节) is celebrated in memory of a Chinese folk hero. As part of the festivities, rice dumplings (肉粽; bak zang or bak zhang) are usually eaten, which in Singapore are sometimes wrapped in pandan leaves instead of the original bamboo leaves. In addition, dragon boat races are often held on the Singapore River on this day. The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar - usually August - begins with a cloud of smoke as "hell money" is burned and food offerings are made to please the ancestral spirits who are about to return to earth at that time. This is the Hungry Ghost Festival (中元节), where the living come together to stuff themselves and watch plays and Chinese opera performances. Soon after, the mid-autumn festival (Bald) follows on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month (Sep / Oct), also a major event with elaborate lantern decorations - especially in the gardens by the bay and in Jurong's Chinese garden - and moon cakes, typically made with lotus paste , Nuts and happy consumption are filled.
The Hindu Festival of Lights, Diwali, known locally as Deepavali, is celebrated in October or November, and Little India is brightly decorated for the occasion. Around January and February one can attend the celebration of Thaipusam, a Tamil-Hindu festival in which male devotees wear a kavadi, an ornate structure that penetrates various parts of the body, and a procession from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Little India to the Sri -Thandajuthapani Temple on Tank Road. Usually female believers take part in the procession and instead carry milk pots with them. About a week before Deepavali, Thimithi takes place, the festival of fire running, during which male devotees can be seen walking on burning coals in the Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown.
The Islamic month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr or Hari Raya Puasa, as it is called here, is an important occasion in Malay districts, especially in Geylang Serai on the east coast, which is illuminated with extensive decorations during this time. Another festival celebrated by the Malays is Eid-ul-Adha, popularly known as Hari Raya Haji. During this time, Muslims travel to Mecca to perform in Hajj. In the local mosques, lambs contributed by the faithful are sacrificed and their meat is used to feed the poor.
The Buddhist Vesak Day, on which the birthday of Buddha Sakyamuni is celebrated, as well as the Christian holidays of Christmas Day, for which the Orchard Street is extensively decorated, and Good Friday round off the list of holidays.
A more secular celebration takes place on August 9, National Day, when fluttering flags fill Singapore and spectacular National Day parades are held to celebrate independence.

Understanding - events

Numerous events are held in Singapore every year. Some of its famous festivals and events are the Singapore Food Festival, the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, the Singapore Arts Festival, the Chingay Parade, the World Gourmet Summit, and ZoukOut.
Christmas is also widely celebrated in Singapore, a time when the streets and malls along the famous shopping belt, Orchard Road, are illuminated and decorated in vibrant colors. In addition, the Singapore Jewel Festival attracts numerous tourists every year and is an exhibition of precious gemstones, famous jewels and masterpieces by international jewelers and designers.

What is the main language spoken in Singapore? Do people speak English in Singapore?

Malay may be anchored in the constitution as the "national language", but in practice English is the most widely used language spoken by almost all not uncommon Singaporeans with different language skills. English is spoken much better here than in most of the neighboring Asian countries. British standard English is also the medium of instruction in schools, with the exception of native language subjects such as Malay, Mandarin and Tamil, which the Singaporeans also have to learn in school. It's not uncommon for younger Singaporeans to tend to consider English as their first language. In addition, all official signs and documents are written in English, using British terminology and spelling as a rule. Some elderly people may not speak English, although you can almost always find someone nearby who speaks English. Although the English spoken in Singapore is largely based on British English, American English is also widely understood due to the popularity of American pop culture.
However, the pronounced local patois singlish can sometimes be difficult to understand because it contains slang words and phrases from other languages, including various Chinese dialects, Malay and Tamil, and English words that have had their pronunciation or meaning changed. In addition, it has a strange type of sentence structure as the original speakers are mostly Chinese, which means that most of the sentences in Singlish have Chinese grammar. Complex clusters of consonants are simplified, articles and plural forms are disappearing, verb forms are being replaced with adverbs, questions are being changed to fit Chinese syntax, and non-English particles appear (especially the infamous "lah"):
However, thanks to nationwide language education campaigns, most younger Singaporeans are able to speak what the government calls "good English" when needed. To avoid accidental insults, it is best to start with standard English and only switch to simplified pidgin when it becomes clear that the other person cannot follow you. Try to resist the temptation to sprinkle unnecessary singlishisms into your speech. You will get a laugh if you get it right, but it sounds condescending when you get it wrong. And most Singaporeans, especially the younger and better educated, can speak correct English in most situations without any problems, so it is not absolutely necessary to learn Singlish even for longer stays. However, some elderly Singaporeans may not be able to correctly pronounce certain complex words. So if there is a need to speak to them, it would be better to use simple, unequivocally pronounced words.
The other official languages ​​of Singapore are Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil, which are mainly spoken by the Singapore, Malay and Indian ethnic groups of Chinese. Like English, Mandarin spoken in Singapore has evolved into a distinctly Creole language and often contains words from other Chinese dialects, Malay and English, although all Singaporean Chinese is taught in standard Mandarin at school. Various Chinese dialects (most notably Hokkien, although a considerable number also speak Teochew and Cantonese) are also spoken between ethnic Chinese of the same dialect group, although their use in the younger generation has declined since the 1980s as government policies favor the use of other dialects Standard mandarins difficult. Other Indian languages, such as Punjabi among the Sikhs, are also spoken.
The official Chinese script used in Singapore is the simplified script used in mainland China. Therefore, all official publications (including local newspapers) and signs are in Simplified Chinese, and it is Simplified Chinese that is taught in schools. Some of the older generation still prefer the traditional script, and the popularity of Hong Kong and Taiwanese pop culture means younger people can be familiar with it too.
Government agencies are required by law to offer all services in all four official languages.
Foreign language brochures are often available at the major tourist attractions, but don't expect the staff to have much, if any, conversational skills. The most common foreign languages ​​available are Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, French and German. Due to the large number of Japanese tourists, signs in Japanese can be seen at the airport and at major tourist attractions.
Western foreign language television programs are shown in their original language with occasional subtitles in English and one of Singapore's other languages, mostly Chinese. Programs in other Asian languages ​​are usually dubbed in the main language of the broadcaster they were viewed on, although, with the exception of children's programs, they are usually available in double-tone. An exception to this rule are programs in non-Mandarin Chinese dialects, such as the Cantonese television series from Hong Kong, which are legally required to be dubbed in Mandarin due to official government policies that discourage the use of other Chinese dialects. Nonetheless, Hong Kong films and TV series with the original Cantonese dialogue can be bought in any video store on VCD, DVD or Blu-ray.