As Singapore is a small and relatively modern amalgam of Chinese, Malay, Indian and European immigrants, the culture of Singapore expresses the diversity of the population as the various ethnic groups continue to celebrate their own cultures while they intermingle with one another.
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Singapore is a good place to view and purchase art from all over Asia, as well as works by local artists.
The cultural diversity means that works by local artists cover a broad palette of themes and styles. Notable galleries include the Singapore Art Museum, Artfolio, Raffles Hotel, Art2 at The Substation, Cicada Gallery of Fine Arts, Ann Siang Road and the ground floor of the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts.
Singapore is a cosmopolitan society where people live harmoniously and interaction among different races are commonly seen. The pattern of Singapore stems from the inherent cultural diversity of the island. The immigrants of the past have given the place a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences, all of which have intermingled.
Behind the facade of a modern city, these ethnic races are still evident. The areas for the different races, which were designated to them by Sir Stamford Raffles, still remain although the bulk of Singaporeans do think of themselves as Singaporeans, regardless of race or culture. Each still bears its own unique character.
The old streets of Chinatown can still be seen; the Muslim characteristics are still conspicuous in Arab Street; and Little India along Serangoon Road still has its distinct ambience. Furthermore, there are marks of the British colonial influence in the Neo-Classical buildings all around the city.
Each racial group has its own distinctive religion and there are colorful festivals of special significance all year round. Although the festivals are special to certain races, it is nonetheless enjoyed by all.
In Singapore, food is also readily and widely available. There are lots of cuisines to offer. We have, Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and Western, Italian, Peranakan, Spanish, French, Thai and even Fusion. It is very common to savour other culture's food and some of the food can be very intriguing. Indian food are relatively spicier, whereas Chinese food is less spicier and the Chinese enjoy seafood. Malay cooking uses coconut milk as their main ingredient, that makes their food very tasty.
Singapore's calendar of annual events is a real mix of ancient and modern, with old, revered ritual pitted against the new and experimental.Most Singaporeans celebrate the major festivals associated with their respective religions.
The variety of religions is a direct reflection of the diversity of races living there. The Chinese are predominantly followers of Buddhism, Taoism, Shenism, Christians, Catholics and some considered as 'free-thinkers' (Those who do not belong to any religion).
Malays have the Muslims and Indians are Hindus. There is a sizeable number of Muslims and Sikhs in the Indian population. Religious tolerance is essential in Singapore.
]In fact, religions often cross racial boundaries and some even merge in unusual ways in this modern country.
Younger Singaporeans tend to combine a little of the mysteries of the older generation with the realistic world that they know of today.
Religion is still an integral part of the cosmopolitan Singapore. Many of its most interesting buildings are religious, be it old temples, modern churches, or exotic mosques.
An understanding of these buildings do play a part in contributing to the appreciation of their art.