Singaporean Culture

Do's and Don'ts

  • Present yourself in a clean and well-dressed manner and make sure to tidy up after yourself. Be mindful of the mess or disorganisation you may have left in a room.
  • Make an effort to keep discussion harmonious and balanced. Avoid dominating conversation and allow space for others to speak up.
  • Express flattery when it is due as this will give face, however always do so with sincerity or the person may lose face instead.
  • It is important to ask questions in several ways in order to have a sure understanding of a vague response.
  • Always demonstrate patience, calmness and politeness.

  • Avoid asking Eurasians about their racial make up as they may find this insensitive.
  • Avoid directly criticising someone, pointing out their mistakes or giving insincere compliments as these are all actions that cause a Singaporean to lose face.
  • Avoid publicly displaying signs of anger, raising your voice or shouting as this will cause you to lose face in a Singaporean's eyes.
  • Try to abstain from interrupting or ‘filling in’ the silence during conversation.

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