One of Priority Consultants’ young whipper snappers discusses the cultural melting pot that is Singapore
Many seem to think that Asia is just this one ginormous blob of cultural practices – they fail to appreciate that each and every Asian nation has its own unique culture, history and practices. Admittedly sometimes the nuances can be hard to grasp and remembering all the “rules” can prove to be a bit much.
The diversity is especially useful if your business deals with multiple markets in the region.
Unless of course, you happen to work in Singapore. The cultural diversity present in the island nation just never gets the recognition it deserves. If you live and work in Singapore you almost certainly will have the ability to transplant yourself to any other Asian nation and get by without committing half a dozen cultural gaffes a day.
Unique cultural phrases such as, “berbuka pusa,” and “gong xi facai,” will roll of your tongue naturally even if you aren’t fasting during Ramadan, a period of strict fasting for Muslims, or have never actually attended a reunion dinner during Chinese New Year. Singapore’s diversity coupled with the populations’ strong racial tolerance allows for individuals to learn so much more about the other cultures in region.
The diversity is especially useful if your business deals with multiple markets in the region. Need a colleague who can translate a document to Bahasa Indonesia in a hurry? Or, perhaps you need a crash course in Korean dining etiquette. All you have to do is track down the right colleague.
Only 60 percent of Singapore’s population are citizens – a fact that many locals complain about. However, on the upside that means there’s a host of expats from a myriad of countries for one to learn from. And even the locals aren’t entirely heterogeneous, with the makeup being split among Chinese, Indians, Malays, Eurasians and Peranakans.
Whether you are a Global MNC looking to truly conquer Asia or an entrepreneur looking to start his first venture, Singapore is the place to be. After all, we are the gateway to Asia.