Singaporean Culture

Greetings

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  • Singaporean greetings vary between the major ethnic groups.
  • A handshake generally suffices as the appropriate greeting between two people. However, Malay or Indian Singaporeans may not wish to shake hands with the opposite gender.
  • A Singaporean’s handshake may be quite light and held for a longer duration.
  • Older Singaporeans may use both hands to shake, placing the second hand on the other person’s wrist or on top of the the handshake.
  • Similar to the Australian habit of asking “How are you going?” during greetings, Singaporeans may greet one another by saying “Hello, have you eaten yet?” (or something to that effect). The question is customary and does not necessarily mean the person has a genuine curiosity about whether you are hungry or not. The usual reply is a short "Yes, thank you" or "I’m going to, thank you" with a nod and smile before moving onto the rest of the conversation.
Singapore
  • Population
    5,781,728
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Mandarin (36.3%)
    English (29.8%) (second language to most)
    Malay (11.9%)
    Hokkien (8.1%)
    Tamil (4.4%)
    Cantonese (4.1%)
    Teochew (3.2%)
    Other (3.4%)
    [2010 est.]
  • Religions
    Buddhism (33.9%)
    No Religion (16.4%)
    Islam (14.3%)
    Taoism (11.3%)
    Catholic Christianity (7.1%)
    Hinduism (5.2%)
    Christianity [ndf] (11%)
    Other (0.7%)
    [2010 est.]
  • Ethnicities
    Chinese (74.2%)
    Malay (13.3%)
    Indian (9.2%)
    Other (3.3%)
    [2016 est.]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 74
    Individualism 20
    Masculinity 48
    Uncertainty Avoidance 8
    Long Term Orientation 72
    Indulgence 46
    What's this?
  • Australians with Singaporean Ancestry
    8,389 [2016 est.]
Singaporeans in Australia
  • Population
    54,939
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Singapore.
  • Average Age
    36
  • Gender
    Female (54.6%)
    Male (45.4%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (20.3%)
    No Religion (20.1%)
    Buddhism (10.8%)
    Anglican Christianity (7.5%)
    Other (41.3%)
  • Ancestry
    Chinese (49.2%)
    Indian (8.4%)
    English (8.4%)
    Singaporean (6.3%)
    Other (27.7%)
  • Languages
    English (48.3%)
    Mandarin (27.7%)
    Cantonese (7.7%)
    Malay (5.8%)
    Other (10.5%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (95.8%)
    Not well (3.1%)
  • Diaspora
    Western Australia (28.7%)
    Victoria (28.2%)
    New South Wales (23.1%)
    Queensland (12.3%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (49.2%)
    2001-2006 (21.9%)
    2007-2011 (25.3%)
Where do we get our statistics?
Country SG Flag