I have already shared the laws but today, I wanted to go into a little more detail and share a few more traditions and cultures I learnt when living in Singapore. I have already shared similar cultures and traditions over at ElleMacUK’s website. Be sure to check it out – Customs And Traditions I Learnt In – Singapore
6 Traditions You Need to Know About Singapore
1. It’s Tradition in Singapore to leave your shoes at the DOOR!
While staying in my halls, I learnt that keeping my shoes on when entering someone home was a big NO-NO! I recall being screamed at when I walked into my friend’s dorm with my flip flops on! I assure you that I never made such a mistake to wear shoes in someone’s room again!
They don’t wear shoes in their rooms or houses. So please take off your footwear before going into anyone’s place, it’s an absolute MUST!
Also, take off your shoes before entering any temple or mosque too!
2. Give your elders respect
It was interesting to see how my customs and traditions of living in a Nigerian household would apply so well when I was living in Singapore. You don’t have to be related to everyone, but you can show some politeness. Calling an older “aunty” and “uncle” is a sign of respect for Singaporeans.
This took me a long way when living in Singapore calling the staff aunty got me lots of goodies like free food etc.
3. Keep to the left of the escalator
I’m sure standing on the left is not unusually expected for everyone. Well, except for those that live in the UK like me – yes this is a thing!
When you’re on the escalator, follow this rule religiously.
Rule: The right side of an escalator is for people walking up the steps. The left is for people content with standing and waiting.
If you’re slow, keep to the left. Singaporeans are notoriously known for walking at the speed of lightning. Trust me on this one!
4. Make sure you Q (wait inline)
Singaporean queue for everything! Literally everything!! It can be for any of the following:
- Hello Kitty toys,
- iPhone 11s,
- Favourite hawker food
The queue is done in a very orderly fashion simply because they can get quite long. Soo there’s one thing you shouldn’t ever do – and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you?
Cut any queues!!!
I mean I think that is pretty standard, but trust me when I say some people don’t get the memo!
If you see a really long queue and you’re not sure why people are queuing. Just join the line. Chances are, there’s something worth queuing for.
5. Give up your seat
Anyone sitting in reserved seats should be aware of elderly, disabled, pregnant women or young children who may need the seat. Failure to give up your place to those who need it more than you is another big NO-NO.
6. Beware of Acronyms
“Sir, go by BKE or PIE?… Got ERP along CTE now, can ah?” – Every taxi driver.
It’s undeniable that Singapore is a land of acronyms and abbreviations.
From 4D to URA, these acronyms are incomprehensible to most foreigners. But with time and practice, you’ll be using acronyms and abbreviations like a local. Honestly, I was surprised by how much I picked up living there. If you don’t know what something means, it’s always a good idea to ask.