Singapore Expats Forum

Singaporeans and Caucasians

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.

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Pal
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Postby Pal » Tue, 27 Apr 2004 10:52 pm

singa's_asskicker wrote:What the xxxx Singapore's law doesn't prohibit you asking your mom to give xxxxxxxxxx? Why don't you be the xxxxxxxx for this deal? How much for the xxxxxxxxx? You should go and ask your xxxxxxxxxx


singa wrote:Singapore Law does not prohibit to laugh about caucasians, so whats this fuss all about. Again the former colonial powers try to dictate us what to do and how to behave. It does not work this way these days.


No bad words and these kind of remarks please ....

Thanks!

whocares

Postby whocares » Tue, 15 Jun 2004 1:20 pm

my daddy is around 40 - he doent face any sort of problems. However for myself its a different story. I experience it on a daily basis. these locals trying hard to make fun of us caucasian wherever they can. THey are only brave enough to irritate young westeners. .........Cowards.

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Bafana
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The Asian Way

Postby Bafana » Tue, 15 Jun 2004 3:14 pm

One of the most annoying things about working with Chinese Singaporeans is the notion that we must do things the asian way...

In its pure sense I agree but unfortunately it is often used to dupe westerners into allowing things to happen that would be completely unacceptable to fellow Singaporeans and other asians, for example...

"Thats not how we do it in Singapore"

Yeah right - If I had a dollar for everytime I heard this statement made to support completely outrageous proposals/excuses I'd make more money then the ERP system...

And, finally just so I can vent completely - Chinese Singaporeans put great emphasis into maintaining face and get very upset when an Ang Mo casues them to loose face. But if a Singaporean has the chance to make an Ang Mo loose face they rip in like theres no tomorrow too which we are supposed to withstand without defending ouselves as it may cause them loose face - In the west we call this being two faced and as being hypocritical...

Sometimes I think they enjoy it... :roll:

For some reason I find Malays, Indos and Indian Singaporeans much more straight forward and easier to deal with - They seem to understand the principle of if you want someone to understand your culture then you must understand theirs as well...

Any other BM's have similiar feelings???

R.C.

ASSIMILATE

Postby R.C. » Tue, 15 Jun 2004 8:23 pm

My two cents worth on this issue ...

Expats living in any other country, (doesn't matter Asian Expat to Europe, or European Expat to Asia), or migrants for that matter, should try to assimilate and integrate with the society where one is located. You don't have to "lose" your identity in such a way, but try to befriend more of the local population, hang out where they hang out, "adopt" their lifestyle, and don't limit yourself to the small "Chinese" commune, or "Expats Enclave" because it's the more comfortable and easier lifestyle. Everyone chose to move either economically, for love, or whatever reason there is, ... give respect to the country and its' people where you are at the moment, and don't surround yourself with same people of your kind, so as not to have an effect that you're SUPERIOR or INFERIOR to the locals in your HOST or ADOPTED COUNTRY.

As for the "locals", what a "boring" world this is gonna be, if we don't welcome other "visitors" in our own lands. Same with Europeans welcoming Asians to Europe and vice versa.

As for each country's governments, priorities should always be given to the local population in terms of jobs. For ex. a Brit should have priority for a job in England if at par with the German, or a Singaporean should have the priority for the same position if at par with a Brit. This would always avoid antogonizing attitudes towards the "guests stealing" their jobs.

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed, 23 Jun 2004 12:22 pm

No point to waste time in a country with these sort of silly dumb people.
There are better places around with people having more style and self- esteem.

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Re: ASSIMILATE

Postby jpatokal » Wed, 23 Jun 2004 9:01 pm

R.C. wrote:As for each country's governments, priorities should always be given to the local population in terms of jobs. For ex. a Brit should have priority for a job in England if at par with the German, or a Singaporean should have the priority for the same position if at par with a Brit. This would always avoid antogonizing attitudes towards the "guests stealing" their jobs.


What exactly are you trying to say? Most, I'm tempted to say all, governments don't even allow foreigners into the civil service. An expat competing against a local "at par" already faces a significant disadvantage, because an expat costs more and is harder to keep around -- the reason any of us on this board have a job is that we offer something that the locals can't, usually in the form of very specialized skills (incl. language) and experience.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri, 25 Jun 2004 12:35 pm

We are not talking about government policy here. The issue at hand is those silly inferior behaviour of many local people towards young westeners. Apparently driven by jealousy.

lim boy

Postby lim boy » Sat, 03 Jul 2004 12:39 pm

Didnt you people know that its some sort of sports for local people to make fun of westeners?????????????
Now you know ok?

Bubbles

Singaporeans and Caucasians

Postby Bubbles » Sat, 03 Jul 2004 10:46 pm

I have to say I've never experienced it myself, this laughing at you, but if I did my immediate response would be the big 'Yeah, what you looking at, say it to my face, and let's sort it!' You see, typical aggressive Brit attitude. I'm not like this in normal everyday life, but when most Brits, not saying all caucs, but Brits encounter this, unfortunately I feel it's part of our worse side to do the face off thing. No hiding behind hands and little laughs for me, anyway. I'm not talking physical fisticuffs, but confrontation is part of our way, I think. (Maybe it's because in history so many nations tried to sail onto our shores and take us over.)
What I'm trying to say is that all nationalities have bad habits, and this I think is one of this Brits worse ones, and maybe if it's true that Singaporeans have giggling and snide looks at expat tendencies, then there must be a reason for it, perhaps it's because they are having a bad day, or something. Who knows? Ignore it, or ask them outright just WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, AND CAN YOU TELL ME TO MY FACE...sort of thing.

local

Caucasians& locals

Postby local » Mon, 05 Jul 2004 6:21 pm

Wonder where you and your friends hang out? Are u being irritated or sensitive cos of language and cultural differences. The best thing to do is laugh with them even if u have no idea why? I remember visiting Japan and have no idea on what to order for food and we made clumsy gestures etc. which brought alot of laughter. We ended up laughing all together. Saki and oddities wered brought to us, compliments of our new found friends. A wonderful experience as an expat.
In Singapore, it's the same as well! have a laugh

christopher

yep

Postby christopher » Fri, 16 Jul 2004 3:34 pm

Racism, however subtle or overt, is always counterproductive to everyone having a fun time.

However, you might want to flip the coin to see both sides of the equation.

Just as many, if not more, caucasians coming here to Singapore, arrive with their own negative attitudes to Singaporeans.

1) I've been lurking in this forum for a while and noticed a few posts from lonely caucasian guys asking where to meet local WOMEN. On the flip side, how many posts detail foreigners wanting to make friends with locals in general (beer buddies/movie and coffee partners etc)? Is Singapore nothing but a hunting ground for farang lonely hearts?

2) I've since read three posts here (and I wasn't even looking hard) from caucasian women matter-of-factly stating that they weren't interested in local men. OK, call it plain old fashioned defensiveness - but if that's not racial sterotyping in a negative way, I don't know what is. (Yeah yeah, all you French guys don't interest me because your breath stinks of cheese and you don't shower; but hey! Don't call me racist because I'm just stating a fact.)

3) As far as my own experience goes, with only 2 exceptions, every single caucasian expat I've known here, has chosen to fill the ranks closest to him/her with OTHER caucasian expats. For example, I've seen deserving Singaporeans bypassed on the promotion ladder by hack account directors (who were senior deliverymen across the Pacific just before making the flight over).

4) 3 times in Singapore (back in 1999), I was verbally accosted by drunken Englishmen/Aussies who've called me a rather ear-flapping range of (rhymes with 'Wink') slurs. Twice I've walked away. Third time unlucky for the last idiot when he caught me on a bad day and I wrapped him around a taxi stand.

5) Bless you expats all, Singapore DOES need foreign expertise. But remember that the 'privilege' extends both ways. It's not just the government or the organization inviting you, it's also the people. Be a good guest. if we're rude and racist - gently educate us. Show the unwashed local yahoos with their racist attitudes, that they've got nothing to fear and everything to learn.

And then mind that you demonstrate the same open-minded politeness you expect from us locals.

After all, you didn't HONESTLY fly 8,000 miles all the way here just to hang around other caucasians and slag off about Singapore.

Did you?

chris

Bubbles

Singaporeans and Caucasians

Postby Bubbles » Sat, 17 Jul 2004 8:09 pm

Hi Chris

I broadly agree with you on a few points. Yes, for instance, there are few caucs on here asking for friendships (normal, not romantic) with locals. I'm sure this must be because in the course of our stints in Singapore that we are outnumbered (obviously) by locals, and if we are friendly people, we will get into the crowd, and have lots of local mates. I did, and still have them, they visit me here in the UK, and I stay with them when I go to Singapore.
However, I do think I am one of the exceptions. It's true to say that most expats do tend to stick with their own lot, you know, 'The Tanglin, The Brit Club, etc etc.' Especially the women. I can only say that there are expats, usually serial expats like me (lived in Dubai, KL, Guyana, Nigeria, Singapore etc) who know the ridiculousness of not mixing. Maybe lots of these expats who don't mix are newbies? I don't know. Or terribly homesick and then the only faces who'll do are your own race. Please don't think it doesn't happen, even to me, who loves Singapore very much. Some days you wake up and think, 'Oh God, take me home to the frost, the autumn, the rude Brit public' you know how it goes? But it does pass if you're a long termer. Maybe these rude expats have other issues, maybe they are truly racist. Though I very much doubt it. Don't you?
Again, the issue with local men and expats. I can only speak from a Bitish woman's viewpoint, and don't forget I'm an old hand at expat life........and say, to me Singaporean men are very attractive (no, no, not letching here, lol) just an observation. Again, it's because you grow accustomed to their faces if you're a true expat. I can understand how different everything must seem to new arrivals, and again, one's who don't settle. Then everyone is off their list, friendwise, romance wise, everything wise, and they shut themselves up in the little 'Home enclave' and buy expensive Brit newspapers, magazines, go to only expat places.......in short, become a bit of a drag. (Though I always sympathize)
Also, don't forget that even if these expats like it here, they are always aware that they should not offend their hosts, and be fair, there's a lot of difference in cultures and sometimes even humour. There are lots more 'filial' duties for the Singaporean, whereas in Britain, even though we care for our parents, generally, there is none of the onus on us to see it through properly to the end, as in Singapore. As such, it's something we're not involved in and something which lots of locals spend much time and energy on, and therefore we cannot be part of that side of their lives. Just a little something which makes the gap a bit wider.
Festivals too, although if you're lucky and have good mates, you're invited. Singaporeans, in my experience, are mighty welcoming. But, if we don't break down the barriers initially, well then, serve us right if we're not included, is what I say.
Yes, so, I agree, we could make more effort, that's for sure, but I always think there maybe other reasons, apart from being offhand, which stops some expats reaching out. It's not always simple, is it?
Bubbles.........rotten day here, Saturday, raining, more like the winter.....I'm off to get a cuppa.........see you all.

Sheesh.

Postby Sheesh. » Tue, 20 Jul 2004 4:52 am

Yowza...this forum can get nasssty.

Anyhow, one thing I gleaned from most of these posts is the apparent difference between good faith and bad faith.
There are nasty locals, and there are nice locals. It happens in every country in the world.
I was harassed countless times in Germany (at LEAST once a day) by lecherous, racist men. But I was also treated with respect and offered assistance by gracious Germans.
I was giggled at in Paris for not speaking the language with native fluency. But a French woman translated the entire menu into English for me; I also encountered the most helpful saleswoman ever, at Sephora.
I got laughed at and gossipped about by mainland Chinese in Munich; they assumed I didn't understand Mandarin.
I get weird looks in China. But I've made some fast Chinese friends.
I've met my share of drunken yobs on the streets of London. But I have also made British friends. And American-Swiss-French friends. And Sri-Lankan friends. And Malaysian friends. And fellow Singaporean friends, and...ad nauseam...

The point being, if you approach a certain society in bad faith, everything you see/encounter/think will be tainted with the same tar-brush. If you choose to overlook the black sheep (in every society), and if you conciously attempt to LEARN the good things about that culture, you'll find that in the midst of the disappointing, there is much beauty to be admired wherever you go.

So make local friends, and have an open mind. Don't be a stranger! You'll have less misgivings that way :wink:

christopher
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ISO:

Postby christopher » Tue, 20 Jul 2004 10:01 am

Re: Bubble and Sheesh:

Me: Youngish romantic, 34, comfortably independant from penurial and parental strings. Likes: Long walks on the sunset, reading poetry while feeding chocolate strawberries to you, massaging your feet after you've been straining yourself waiting at home in our mountaintop chalet for me to come home from work, piloting our own personal concorde for dirty weekends in New York, New England or Newport Beach....

Nyuk.

Kidding*

:)

Nice to wander into a forum where threads remain constructive for pages instead of degenerating into mud-slinging after paragraphs.

chris
One should never speak of the dead unless to say a good thing.

eg: "It's a good thing he's dead."

shame

Postby shame » Wed, 04 Aug 2004 2:07 am

Its a shame for Singapore. Imagine Spores economic development without foreign capital, knowledge and human resources/talent. Guess would look like in Indonesia or Africa.
But people seem to have forgotten about it - instead of welcoming them they make fun of Westeners. Its shameful -
POOR SILLY SINGAPOREAN.


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