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I’m not the biggest fan of Singapore (heck, I’m ever scheming ways to get out of that place). But Singapore having no unique culture? Hah, really? He goes to the Singapore Zoo, the Jurong Birdpark, Orchard Rd, Suntec City (Fountain of Wealth), Merlion and the Disneyland orifice of Chinatown – it’s just shocking no unique Singapore culture, or for that matter, pre-1800’s history, was found.

Also, in the comments, he notes Singapore has no unique cuisine. Hah, really? Because you can find chicken rice and Katong laksa in China? Or prata or murtabak in India? Coming from a Malaysian, Singapore food is horrible (heh, it’s the same genre, Malaysians just do it better). But it isn’t a random assortment of food from around the world with no culture behind it.

Singapore is more than a English-speaking country that lost its way in tropical, south-east Asia. The fact that Mouser didn’t realize most of the locals speak a unique patois called Singlish instead mystifies.
I have yet to find a Singaporean that identifies with the Merlion, which was invented by the Singapore Tourism Board. Considering his chief complaint is local culture, you think he would spend more time mildly, ever so slightly, off the beaten track.

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One Comment

  1. Maybe his definition of culture is rather… slippery. Still, at an offhand level, “little unique culture” is not very different from “no unique culture”.

    To overintellectualise, if civil society generates culture, then a large state vis-a-vis civil society plays a limiting role against culture. The state, in response to the disincentives associated with having no culture, tries to manufacture culture by bureaucratically co-opting what it identifies as cultural landmarks like Little India and Chinatown. Hence, the disneyfication of Chinatown.


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