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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zack

Postby zack » Sat, 14 Aug 2004 6:31 pm

Youre absolutely right Bigmoose. Sadly as Singapore prides to be a friendly open and cosmopolitan city.
Sporean have lost their style - maybe due to the effects of globalisation.

jaqueline

Postby jaqueline » Sat, 14 Aug 2004 9:20 pm

Hi Curacao, good to hear that you are spared from it. The resentment is - from all I heard and experienced - really targeted towards white caucasians US, EU. I presume you dont have this typical caucasian look -

Much Ado about nothing

Takes 2 to tango

Postby Much Ado about nothing » Sun, 15 Aug 2004 1:36 am

Come'on guys and gals. It cuts both ways.If you come to the place expecting people to pander to you, then it won't happen. Foreigners, be they of any variety,have to get away from their ghettoes and come out and make the effort to mill around with the crowds, much as it is expected of the Chinese in the US, UK, Australia and Canada, or for that matter any other race.If all the locals get is arm folding and watching from a distance, then all that would be achieved would be the kind of comments that come from spectator comments that we are getting in this forum and implied sense of resentment as is now referred to. Yes, it takes effort to get involved with other races, and aberrant elements within each community make it that much testier. But then you'll be surprised at the goodwill that can be created and that would oil relationships. Granted that the cavalier rudeness that one gets in various parts of Singapore is a real turn off, but then ask yourself, do you honestly think that this is absent in your home country between the locals and foreigners? You will find your experience in Singapore that much more enriching if you just tried and not prejudge the situation. Otherwise, why make the choice to work here? You can get the almighty mullah some other place that you'd find more socially conducive. So stop feeling sorry for yourself, put on a smile and get on with the locals. You'll find that the majority are not all that they are made out to be here. You'll be pleasently surprised. Like they say, it takes 2 to clap.

NBB
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Postby NBB » Sun, 15 Aug 2004 2:18 am

Global citizen wrote:Presently here as we own 2 restaurants and looks like we'll be staying. Have been here for 11 years now and this is the fifith country I've lived in due to spouse's previous job.

My roots are S'porean but home seems to be whereever. You've been around a bit too, haven't you? I may be back this year for a visit if time permits. If you're ever here in Jamaica, you'll definitely need to look me up if you 're a gourmand. Food is in our souls and I still miss the local food now and then.

Cheers.


GC, I will drop by, thanks ;-)

I'm a bit of a food afficionado. Asian, West Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican. All of it, hmmm, lovely! I especially loved the chicken drum sticks with coconut cream rice and boiled beans that my landlady used to make for us. But then, Singapore makan is so yummy too!

So when you drop by here, let us know, eh, we'll have a Rojak :-)

Catch ya here!

NBB

NBB
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Postby NBB » Sun, 15 Aug 2004 2:19 am

jaqueline wrote:Hi Curacao, good to hear that you are spared from it. The
resentment is - from all I heard and experienced - really targeted towards
white caucasians US, EU. I presume you dont have this typical caucasian
look -

Well, I'm 1.86 m, ash-blond curly hair, blue eyes. I guess I'm about as
Caucasion-y as they come. And I hang out in all corners of Singapore, from
the CBD to the heartlands.

Maybe I just don't pay any attention. Or maybe it's the fact that I feel and
look at ease, at home even. I don't know why but I am indeed spared
any overt type of anti-expat resentment.

Unfortunately, I'm also spared the winks, come-ons and other avances of the
SPGs that some of this board's posters rapture about :-(

I take it that you get the occassional earful or evil eye by locals? Is it a
random thing or does it occur at particular times, activities or locations
perhaps?

NBB

Bubbs

Singaporeans and Expats

Postby Bubbs » Sun, 15 Aug 2004 5:22 pm

I can only say that my experience is always that of NBB's, when I'm in town that is. I'm also blonde and blue eyed and no, I've never noticed any animosity towards me. Maybe a few shy smiles, but then, I just smile right back.

And there's the gist of it folks......smile, be friendly and hey....people smile right back. It works anywhere in the world, London, NY, anywhere.

You don't have to uttter a word for others to sense animosity wafting off you, well, that's what I think, anyway.

Ah, roti, nasi lemak, satay, those lovely little cakey type thigies, with pineapple type jam in them....banana fritters.......sorry, it was the talk of all the food in the last few postings....

And guess what I'm having for lunch.........

Beans on toast........lucky, lucky you lot out there......sob, sob, sob.....

Asian but not-singaporean

My observation

Postby Asian but not-singaporean » Mon, 16 Aug 2004 11:53 am

According to my Singaporean friends, Singaporean-Chinese look down on people who have darker skin (including their fellow countrymen who are of Indian or Malay descent). They also look down on the rest of their neighbours from SE Asia since they think they are economically better off (which is true). So if you're white, you're a king or queen as far as they are concerned. You would think this colonial mentality disappeared but I'm afraid it's still pretty pervasive.

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Re: Singaporeans and Expats

Postby NBB » Mon, 16 Aug 2004 12:53 pm

Bubbs wrote:Ah, roti, nasi lemak, satay, those lovely little cakey type thigies, with pineapple type jam in them....banana fritters.......sorry, it was the talk of all the food in the last few postings....

And guess what I'm having for lunch.........

Beans on toast........lucky, lucky you lot out there......sob, sob, sob.....

Poor Bubbs. You've got it bad for Singers haven't you? And the beans on toast isn't doing you any favors either :-( But weren't you coming over for a while near the end of the year?

I think you're right, when you walk around the place like you own it, even if you don't mean to, you'll get a different sort of vibe than when you blend in like we apparently do.

Same if you appear apprehensive or jittery; perhaps people sense this and reciprocate subconsciously.

You and I obviously feel at home in Singapore, and it shows. Hence we don't get any of the funkiness.

But I suppose not everyone can appreciate the place, the heat, humidity. I guess it's a mind-frame thing.

NBB

Kat
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Postby Kat » Mon, 16 Aug 2004 5:12 pm

Same here Bubbs, I think the singaporean people are incredibly friendly as long as you are! Human nature really and nothing to with race, gender or the rest...

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krewkid
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Postby krewkid » Tue, 17 Aug 2004 2:25 pm

If foreigners immerse themselves in the local lifestyle and make the effort to understand the people and culture, locals will be appreciative and receptive to their presence and respond with sincere hospitality. But if these foreigners adopt an air of superiority or disdain for local customs, I'm afraid that will not bode well with any local. I think that is a general rule that can be applied to any nationality, whether it be Singaporeans travelling overseas or visitors to Singapore. We just need to learn to behave locally elsewhere. The days of "veni, vidi, vici" are over.

In the immortal words of Sascha Baron Cohen aka Ali G .... "Respeckt ... aiiiiiii"
.................................................................
Condoms are not 100% safe, my friend was wearing one and was knocked down by a bus.

SG female

tsk tsk

Postby SG female » Tue, 17 Aug 2004 5:41 pm

chinese club wrote:Singapore is chinese territory and its supposed to stay like that. Were smart and hard working - no need for foreigners.

Except that the Chinese are also foreigners in Singapore. Singapore is not a part of China, Singapore is NOT Chinese territory. Have you forgotten how you learnt about the four races in Pri school? tsk tsk tsk...

Life

Singaporean Life

Postby Life » Tue, 17 Aug 2004 6:16 pm

As a foreigner in England, I lived as an English, mingled with the locals, learnt their ways of doing things and tried it myself, learnt to speak in the language they would feel most comfortable with and accepted discrimination when it came because no matter how English I became, I was yet a guest in an English city.

Expats, now that you are in my home, I hope you can show the same graciousness to us:
- To be patient with the racial friction, because we are only just adjusting to you and your culture while you are adjusting to ours
- To mingle with the locals, because we make wonderful and loyal friends when you really get to know us
- To speak in our local language, because it'll be easier for you to understand us and it'll make it easier for us to understand you
- To learn to do things the Singaporean way, because we have methods that work as much as yours do
- To acknowledge that no matter what... you are guests in our house and we have graciously accepted into our family. We expect you to return the kindness with understanding that comes as a good guest of a house. When you turn around to curse our little city, remember that a guest has no right to slap the hand that fed you. But live in harmony in us and reap the benefits of friendship, multi-culture and being a full part of Singapore life.

NBB
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Postby NBB » Tue, 17 Aug 2004 8:09 pm

Hear hear. Well spoken.

NBB

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PhantomX
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The other side of the fence

Postby PhantomX » Wed, 18 Aug 2004 1:17 pm

Now that you understand what it is like to be on the other side of the fence, it might make you(the foreigner) more sympathetic of the local views and help yourself make your stay here a more pleasent one. The buck stops where you are. Don't pass it on to others

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Cam
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Postby Cam » Wed, 18 Aug 2004 6:23 pm

Hi,

I haven't had time to read thru the entire thread of this discussion, so I may be repeating some people - apologies in advance.

In reaction to the first post - I would hardly call being giggled at 'racist'. It would maybe point more to the confidence in yourself as to how you were affected by this behaviour. Water off a ducks back I think.

Also, many people are scared or put at unease by something new which can affect their reaction to others. This goes as much for foreigners in a new country as well as locals.

Some veiws on other posts I've read.

I've always disliked the foreigner who travels to a country and expects the citizens to be able to speak the language of where they're from (mainly english speakers). I've come across visitors to England who stumble out english words trying to get directions. This is making an effort. If you're in a foreign country, shouldn't you be making an effort to go half way? You may find that they make up the other half.

I've always had a positive reception from Singaporeans when I've visited, and I will be moving over there at the end of the year. I'm looking forward to it.

Cam


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