Friends from overseas sometimes ask me about my hometown in Singapore. Often, I had to explain that there is no such concept of a town in Singapore like in any other countries. This is because, despite being a cosmopolitan city with a population of 5.4 million people, Singapore is still essentially a very small island.
So, I thought to introduce my home country here, starting with those that are uniquely Singapore.
English is not our national language
This stems from our history as a Malay settlement in the archipelago and was adopted as the national language after our independence from the British in 1965.
However, we do have four official languages in Singapore – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. This is a result of racial diversity within Singapore’s population between the Eurasian, Chinese, Malay and Indian community.
In school, we study English as our first language and our mother tongue as a second language.
One of our sources of water is reclaimed
From what, you ask? Well, let’s just say, it pays to do more business in the toilet. Consider that your contribution to NEWater.
When it was first done in Singapore, we ourselves were quite hesitant to give it a try. They included this as part of the freebies during our National Day celebrations as a marketing campaign. Did it work? Well, I just drink it anyway, tastes just like any other mineral water. Currently, though, it is used more for the heavy industries at the moment.
For those interested, admissions are free to the NEWater Visitor Centre.
As an island with little natural resources, it is definitely rare to find a natural hot spring in Singapore. The exact source of the spring remains unknown but the water was found to be around 131 °C (270 °F).
Don’t expect luxurious conditions like those hot springs in Japan though. The area it is on has little amenities as it is located on a military air base. However, it is currently closed to the public until further notice due to ongoing military exercises.
So there you have it!!
I can definitely think of more but they require much more background story to understand it further so I shall elaborate more in future posts instead.