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.

Sponsored by:
Image
AE Logistics - Movers & Storage

Two cents

Re: Two types of people worldwide

Postby Two cents » Wed, 22 Sep 2004 3:49 pm

Red necks in Singapore wrote:Years ago, I was a graduate student in upstate New York and on one of my "Discover the Real America" daytrips, I went to a delightful town called Danville in southern New York, a rather economically depressed corner of rural America. Pretty place with the forested Alleghenies rising gracefully from the river that ran pass the town. Being breakfast time, I entered the nearest cafe.

I went in there with a camera around my neck (this was in the era when American blue collar workers were convinced that America won WWII but lost the economic war to then-still-rising Japan).

From the time I entered the cafe till the time I sat down, (seemed as long as a stroll to a shooting showdown in a Western gunfight scene) all, and I mean all eyes - from about twelve people around four tables - were staring at me. They followed my every step...Their eyes were only averted after I sat down. Then when I ordered Bacon, Eggs and Hash Browns, silence again filled the room and again, all eyes stared daggers and all ears perked up and heard my almost unintelligible order.

Welcome to Redneck country.

Actually, all countries have rednecks and people have a tendency to label boorish behavior under different names. I remember how my European classmates would often called Americans culturally undeveloped and simple minded. How the rest of the World would - when one particularly Aussie talked way too much and started calling Vietnamese, Boat People and Aborigines, Abos - explain his boorish behavior with aspersions to the convict blood of the British rejects that ran through his veins, etc.

Generally, societies rise when cosmopolitanism and acceptance of cultural differences become the norm and fall and descend even to chaos when narrow mindedness, especially that based on culture and race, rule. A few years back, the government recognised this in Singapore and classified our society into two categories:

The Cosmopolitan who recognizes that a small nation like Singapore has to adapt, compete and open up and the Heartlanders (i.e. Ah Bengs and Ah Lians and our closest thing to rednecks) who would not be able to compete in a globalized economy. The aunties are our version of the American mom of redneck kids in country America going for spins in souped out cars and whose World is really very small.

Personally, I think your response from locals to you would depend on which category you have come across. As it was in my case. At university and in the town where I was at, I met the kindest, most intelligent Americans I could ask for. But just an hour's drive away, I met amongst the most hostile.

So the situation is the same everywhere. One wonders whether racism is derived more from a person's inherently felt insecurity (and who knows what that source of insecurity may be as it can be so many) as opposed to color issues. An insecure person can target anyone and everyone and if you are a minority, then it becomes a safe target.

Conclusion? I guess if two cosmopolitan minded people from different corners of the World met, there would be at least a modicum of respect and decency. If two rednecks meet (hehe!)...

So my advice is to ignore the Ah Bengs and Ah Lians, recognize them for who they are and focus on the nice big-hearted Singaporeans that you have / should meet. If all your efforts are fruitless. then I must say that it is either you with the problem (all rednecks see the World with a very narrow field of vision) or Singapore is truly well on its way to fascism. I kind of doubt that we are anywhere on that road so perhaps all one needs to do is be in the right places, at the right time to meet the right people and with the right mind.

Just my two cents worth.


Wow all this for two cents!
Reely good value :lol:

alfredo

Postby alfredo » Tue, 28 Sep 2004 5:36 pm

Absolutely.There is a lot of racism against non asian people in Singapore,although it takes the mild form of laughing and mocking - or the attempt to give foreigners the impression of doing so.

The trouble is this: most people put too high expectations on Spore and Sporean - the believe is that its a paradise over here with angels all around.
Unfortunately Spore and its citizen cannot stand up to this propagated image/expectation. It would be too good to be true.

Spore is just another bloody normal imperfect place like many others.
Nothing special. So foreigners dont expect much - else you will be disappointed. OK.

alana

is that really the case?

Postby alana » Wed, 29 Sep 2004 4:43 am

hi i am a 20year old female about to move to singapore for a year.
Is that what its really like? Im getting worried now! I heard that socially Europeans are slightly looked down on? but also heard that Singaporeans are really welcoming?

Last time i was in asia was in thailand and people were so friendly and complimentary. I mean I get looked at in England,because i have long legs,slim and blonde. But what so in Singapore i may get laughed at because of that??

koxinga

relax, alana!

Postby koxinga » Thu, 30 Sep 2004 1:57 pm

Alana sweetie, if you really do have the long legs, blonde and slim package, you'll surely warrant a second look wherever you go (I know I would).

Take it from a local guy, yes, I admit we crack racist jokes every now and then, but I rather think of it as a social norm, people are making fun of others who are different from them all the time, all over the world. Take all that laughing and mocking with a pinch of salt and you know what, you can laugh along too, remember, when you're in Rome, do what the Romans do.

But I do get the feeling that most Singaporeans are over-friendly towards Caucasian tourists and expats alike, especially if they come from the English-speaking countries. I hate to call that inferiority complex at work, but maybe us locals prefer to leave a good impression when interacting with native English speaking foreigners. I think that was the whole point of the government using English as the main tool of communication in administration and education anyway.

cheers

SEFuserLAH

Re: is that really the case?

Postby SEFuserLAH » Thu, 30 Sep 2004 5:59 pm

alana wrote:hi i am a 20year old female about to move to singapore for a year.
Is that what its really like? Im getting worried now! I heard that socially Europeans are slightly looked down on? but also heard that Singaporeans are really welcoming?

Last time i was in asia was in thailand and people were so friendly and complimentary. I mean I get looked at in England,because i have long legs,slim and blonde. But what so in Singapore i may get laughed at because of that??


oh no.... long legs,slim and blonde are a definite no no in singapore.
singapore's idea of beauty is basically long neck , fatties with grizzy hair

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/Wor ... 903-1.html

User avatar
Bafana
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun, 11 Apr 2004
Location: Singapore

Re: relax, alana!

Postby Bafana » Fri, 01 Oct 2004 12:32 pm

koxinga wrote:Alana sweetie, if you really do have the long legs, blonde and slim package, you'll surely warrant a second look wherever you go (I know I would).


Sama sama lah and I not even Singaporean ah...

BTW typical Friday madness taking over my posts :oops:

luxembourg

Postby luxembourg » Mon, 11 Oct 2004 6:16 pm

Hi Marc,

yes there is racism over here - jealous Asian people who feel inferior and second class. Pitty them. They unwillingly display their inferior inner state.
But same goes for any sort of racism abroad towards Asians.
No point to distinguish between Asian people and Caucasian People. Better distinguish between inferior/weak/jealous people and confident and strong people with self-esteem.

End of the World

Postby End of the World » Thu, 14 Oct 2004 5:14 pm

:o R u kidding?
yes there is racism over here - jealous Asian people who feel inferior and second class.
Asia, as far as I knew, is a continent that comprises of people from the Indian subcontinent, west and central Asia as well as south east asia and east asia.

U probably mean "chinks" when you say "asians". Coz no one has explicitly stated the extent of discrimination against darker skinned people and various non-chinks who are non whites. Even when you read some of the posts, you can see admissions that local chinks want to please whites but no one from over there has ever apologized, or for that matter, felt sorry for denigrating people because of their complexion or national origin or a myriad of other such ludicrous criteria.

Can someone just elucidate on the extent of negative perceptions that are held by local "chinks" about middle eastern, african, subcontinental or other people who are not white neither chinks? Heck, why would someone want to describe people based on these criteria anyway?

I just don't want to flame anyone but I couldn't help but notice how ignorant most of the posters were about a certain section of the society that they were discussing about.

Cheers,

End of the World

Rednecks can lay their own moms as much as they want,
Their moms still prefer my flaccid (non-erect) 12" penis in their cunts.


Yeah, that's right, when it's flaccid it's only 12".

luxembourg wrote:Hi Marc,

yes there is racism over here - jealous Asian people who feel inferior and second class.
Pitty them. They unwillingly display their inferior inner state.
But same goes for any sort of racism abroad towards Asians.
No point to distinguish between Asian people and Caucasian People. Better distinguish between inferior/weak/jealous people and confident and strong people with self-esteem.

Beginning of my world

toxic

Postby Beginning of my world » Mon, 18 Oct 2004 4:10 pm

End of the world, you should re read your post and see how seething with hatred and bitterness you are. You might have had some discrimination in the past. So have I, but I definitely dont sound like you. Calling people chinks just shows that you are as low as the very 'chinks' you're trying to put down. It's ironic isn't it?

You hate 'chink's yet at the end of the day you are showing the whole world how badly you took it.

Cool it. Have a nice mug of beer..or two.

pcfasthands

Re: toxic

Postby pcfasthands » Wed, 20 Oct 2004 1:17 pm

Beginning of my world wrote:End of the world, you should re read your post and see how seething with hatred and bitterness you are. You might have had some discrimination in the past. So have I, but I definitely dont sound like you. Calling people chinks just shows that you are as low as the very 'chinks' you're trying to put down. It's ironic isn't it?

You hate 'chink's yet at the end of the day you are showing the whole world how badly you took it.

Cool it. Have a nice mug of beer..or two.


don't know why you even bother with the mentally and socially challenged :roll:

Pete Standing Alone

even the educated ones

Postby Pete Standing Alone » Wed, 20 Oct 2004 9:35 pm

hello, i'm a student at NUS. i have noticed that even the young, educated singaporeans are xenophobic. i've seen the way the locals look at foreign students, especially those from the people's republic of china, india. i've had a caucausian friend complaining to me that everyone behaves coldly to him, when he is just ttrying to make small talk. singaporeans really should take a look outside their shell

Global Citizen

Re: even the educated ones

Postby Global Citizen » Thu, 21 Oct 2004 9:53 am

Pete Standing Alone wrote:hello, i'm a student at NUS. i have noticed that even the young, educated singaporeans are xenophobic. i've seen the way the locals look at foreign students, especially those from the people's republic of china, india. i've had a caucausian friend complaining to me that everyone behaves coldly to him, when he is just ttrying to make small talk. singaporeans really should take a look outside their shell


Hear, hear! Some S'poreans are under the delusion that they're pretty big fish, not realising that the pond they inhabit is very small. Its when they travel a little,do they realise how very small fish they really are in the grand scheme of things.

A little humility, a whole lot of tolerance and a mandatory stay abroad in a white man's country may just help put things in perspective for the xenophobes. Its too bad really for these ethnically challenged folks because some of the nicest people I've known have come in a variety of shades and I would have missed out on these friendships If I had limited myself to a particular group.

Guest

Re: even the educated ones

Postby Guest » Thu, 21 Oct 2004 11:54 am

Global Citizen wrote:
Pete Standing Alone wrote:hello, i'm a student at NUS. i have noticed that even the young, educated singaporeans are xenophobic. i've seen the way the locals look at foreign students, especially those from the people's republic of china, india. i've had a caucausian friend complaining to me that everyone behaves coldly to him, when he is just ttrying to make small talk. singaporeans really should take a look outside their shell


Hear, hear! Some S'poreans are under the delusion that they're pretty big fish, not realising that the pond they inhabit is very small. Its when they travel a little,do they realise how very small fish they really are in the grand scheme of things.

A little humility, a whole lot of tolerance and a mandatory stay abroad in a white man's country may just help put things in perspective for the xenophobes. Its too bad really for these ethnically challenged folks because some of the nicest people I've known have come in a variety of shades and I would have missed out on these friendships If I had limited myself to a particular group.

as an aside, not hoping to start a senseless arguement here, when in Rome do as the romans do! when you are in singapore, adapt to singaporeans as we do when we are in australia, the USA , Europe. China etc etc .
Isn't it strange to enter a foreign land and demand that the locals adapt to you?!?!?
now singaporeans are not perfect, i have met foreign colleagues and ex-colleague mates who have complained that singaporeans are cold and unfriendly just as i have local friends who complain that the expats are likewise keeping to themselves.
it just takes an additional step and effort to get out of your comfort zones to bridge the gap.

disc

Postby disc » Thu, 21 Oct 2004 1:32 pm

my defence of singapore:
been living here for a year. an observation about people who try to denigrate singapore/singaporeans- it's always about the size of their country isnt it?

"singapore is just a small pond"
"singapore is a small red dot"
"singapore is a irritating small pimple"
"singapore is a small piece of dried snot"
etc...u get the idea.

i guess the perception is still 'big is better' (unless we are talking about women's dress sizes?)
seems rather primitive to me to use land size as a weapon...being one of the smallest countries in the world isnt really a crime is it? and there isnt much one can do to change that..even with land reclamation.
i notice even disgruntled singaporeans have adopted the same tactics.

racism is everywhere....but it's really pretty mild here.
no skinheads, or beatings or arson or racist grafitti or violence or derogatory school taunts here.
friend said this to me the other day: i am not sure if expats are even aware of the air of superiority they sometimes adopt when talking *down* to locals.

a topic like this is always popular judging from the number of replies and hits....people have the perfect excuse to give vent to all their racial animosity.

if people (locals and foreigners alike) could just treat everyone equally and respect...everything would be much more pleasant.

asianchap

Postby asianchap » Thu, 21 Oct 2004 6:44 pm

Hi everybody,
Singapore is trying to strive for excellence. And they succeed in many fields. Thats why I expected more from this country with respect to how they treat foreigners. Sad enough Singapore is just like most other places...the majority of Sporean lacking the greatness of being more tolerant and respectful to aliens..
And after all the citizens of a country are the blood streaming through the venes. In this respect its still a long way to go. But then again why should Spore be different than the rest of the world? For most people its harder to be respectful than disrespectful....tell me about self-esteem.
By


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest