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

remond

Postby remond » Fri, 22 Oct 2004 5:08 pm

Hi Peter, Academics are commonly more open minded and tolerant towards foreigners. I am a frenchman and I graduated from NUS. Certainly there are lots of nice people around but the sheer size of Singapore students showing you the cold sholder, mocking at you or making you feel uncomfortable by inciting the feeling that they make a fool out of you in their own language was beyond what I would find acceptalbe.
My dad is an expat so I stayed in a lot of different countries (inkl Asia) but what I experienced here only allowed me one conclusion - I will never ever return to Singapore.
Again-lots of people were nice but the number of people esp. young folks who tried hard to disrespect you is just disproportionate high over here.
Those people spoil the good side of Spore thats a pity.

User avatar
spring_tomorrow
Regular
Regular
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun, 26 Sep 2004
Location: Singapore

Re: even the educated ones

Postby spring_tomorrow » Fri, 22 Oct 2004 5:55 pm

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


You might have seen how some locals look at foreign students. Have you also seen how foreign students look at local students? I was in NTU for almost a year some time back before I withdrew to pursue a different route. We had a communications class whereby the foreign students were asked by the lecturer to comment on the local students. One particular fellow who kinda became the spokesperson for his counterparts said Singaporean students do not know how to study and only know how to play all day long and they are not worth his time to befriend. I was flabbergasted!!!! This particular classmate of mine whom I had barely exchanged a few words actually said that? As though he knows us so well? Did he actually see how we were struggling and working hard? NO. So should I still thank him for his comments? So should I still look up to him and be friendly to him when he doesn't even want to give a damn to us? Should we subject ourselves to further insults from foreign students who think we are useless creatures?

When I asked a "friend" from PROC who's just living next door in the same block in the student hostel to help me with my tutorial one night because I didn't understand it, the door was slammed right in front of my face with her screaming at me to do it myself and shouldn't be asking for help. She told me she's an Olympiad student in Mathematics back in China. So that's a cool way for an outstanding student like her to behave then? Interesting.

For goodness sake, no matter it's how foreigners look at Singaporeans or vice versa. Before we deemed anything to be concrete, we gotta look at both sides of the picture.
"A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself"

"Everyone is a friend, until they prove otherwise"

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Re: even the educated ones

Postby jpatokal » Sat, 23 Oct 2004 2:50 pm

spring_tomorrow wrote:[We had a communications class whereby the foreign students were asked by the lecturer to comment on the local students. One particular fellow who kinda became the spokesperson for his counterparts said Singaporean students do not know how to study and only know how to play all day long and they are not worth his time to befriend. I was flabbergasted!!!! This particular classmate of mine whom I had barely exchanged a few words actually said that? As though he knows us so well? Did he actually see how we were struggling and working hard? NO. So should I still thank him for his comments? So should I still look up to him and be friendly to him when he doesn't even want to give a damn to us? Should we subject ourselves to further insults from foreign students who think we are useless creatures?

Those foreign students are paying your country good money to study there.

Also, from what I've seen of PRC student work habits, the good ones (who get scholarships to foreign countries) certainly seem to study a hell of a lot harder, and Singaporeans are no slouches themselves. Whether this makes you a better person and/or even a smarter one is of course a completely different issue...

User avatar
spring_tomorrow
Regular
Regular
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun, 26 Sep 2004
Location: Singapore

Re: even the educated ones

Postby spring_tomorrow » Sat, 23 Oct 2004 3:27 pm

jpatokal wrote:Those foreign students are paying your country good money to study there.

Also, from what I've seen of PRC student work habits, the good ones (who get scholarships to foreign countries) certainly seem to study a hell of a lot harder, and Singaporeans are no slouches themselves. Whether this makes you a better person and/or even a smarter one is of course a completely different issue...


Exactly...sometimes...I even think the universities seem to be treating the foreign students better than the local ones...well...maybe money does make the world goes round! :roll:

You're right. Those scholars are always working extremely hard. They have to, because there's a certain grade they have to achieve, otherwise, they have to be sent back home and repay the scholarship fund. So it's understandable that they have to study that hard.

But indeed, i guess this really doesn't determine a person's worth...unfortunately, many are superficial..so they tend to see what's on the surface only. And Singaporean students getting belittled, well, i don't think it's fair either. Anyway, i guess this battle of debate about how Singaporeans and Caucasians see each other will just go on and on...it only depends on what we have experienced and seen for ourselves....the battle rages on...
"A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself"



"Everyone is a friend, until they prove otherwise"

Low profile

Postby Low profile » Mon, 25 Oct 2004 3:52 am

Hi all,

After reading all the threads that has been posted regarding this topic, i'll like to give my two cents worth of comments. I do agree that there are certain singaporeans that are shallow and ignorant who display racism to expants, but they do not represent us singaporeans as a whole. About this whole racism issue, i personally feel that it's brought about by the character and the upbringing of the person not by the fact that the person is a singaporean. The government has made an effort to promote racial harmony here but to accept it or not depends solely on the person himself/herself. I dare to say that i am not and will not be one of those singaporean who are racist. Please do not sterotype all us. Thanks

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon, 25 Oct 2004 2:47 pm

remond wrote:Hi Peter, Academics are commonly more open minded and tolerant towards foreigners. I am a frenchman and I graduated from NUS. Certainly there are lots of nice people around but the sheer size of Singapore students showing you the cold sholder, mocking at you or making you feel uncomfortable by inciting the feeling that they make a fool out of you in their own language was beyond what I would find acceptalbe.
My dad is an expat so I stayed in a lot of different countries (inkl Asia) but what I experienced here only allowed me one conclusion - I will never ever return to Singapore.
Again-lots of people were nice but the number of people esp. young folks who tried hard to disrespect you is just disproportionate high over here.
Those people spoil the good side of Spore thats a pity.


hi remond, since i am not educated in NUS or singapore for that matter, i am ill suited to comment on
##the sheer size of Singapore students showing you the cold sholder, mocking at you or making you feel uncomfortable by inciting the feeling that they make a fool out of you in their own language was beyond what I would find acceptalbe.##
being educated in australia and later worked in france, what i am able to comfortablely say is that it is the same everywhere.whereever one goes where one is not a native of a given community, there are bound to be social circles and cliches firmly formed where one feels excluded and has trouble belonging to or integrating into .
being young and inexperience , students tend to highlight the differences rather than work on the commonalities.( we used to think aussies were racists, drunks,lazy , dumb.etc etc- much like some forgein students think singaporeans are stupid, rigid, rude, slow etc etc.)
if all one does during the stay in the foreign land is to dwell on the negative, subconciously/consciously dislikeing the locals , thus refusing to integrate or even to the extend of insulting the locals at a given opportunity, it is unlikely they are likely to make you feel very welcome.
it was never easy integrating into a new community, it usually gets easier when you are more open to a new culture, making the first native friend who brings you into the local social groups.
i don't think anyone will enjoy his stay in singapore or anywhere else in the world for that matterif all he does during his stay is to dwell on the negative differences that may be due to no more cultural differences.

ex-expat

its ok...

Postby ex-expat » Mon, 25 Oct 2004 3:52 pm

Hi!

Having been living in the west since 1999, make me able to understand what it feels like to be a caucasian over this part of the world. Having just arrived in the early winter of 1999, the local in the sourthern part of Europe was as cold as the weather. This can be miserable, cos I'm practically the only yellow skin or what they call 'ching' over there.

Whenever I step into the local store, I always get stare and some jokes. Somehow, things will change, slowly the teenager starts to get use to me and greet me instintively and smile to me as well.

I am a Cantonese and by now I speak English, Mandarin, French and Spanish, as well as able to read alot of Italian. So do enjoy your stay here, in no time you will master some Singlish, Mandarin, Malay or Hokkien. Believe me this is a sure way to get use to the community.

former expat
a yellow skin

Pride & Honour & Respect

Postby Pride & Honour & Respect » Mon, 25 Oct 2004 5:16 pm

Damn - We are proud to be Singaporean. We are proud to be top in the world in areas like e-government, technology, bc transparency, bz environment etc...
We never took mediocricy as a reference. We always strive to be better than the rest of the world. In plain English: We also should try to treat foreigners better than we might be treated overseas. We should set an example for the world that Singaporean are cosmopolitan, self-confident and have the guts to respect other people whatever their race. Singaporean should develop style and dont resort to silly excuses like.. well I was also disrespected overseas.
Think about it compatriots.

User avatar
Bubbles
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 797
Joined: Wed, 25 Aug 2004
Location: Wales, UK

Singaporeans and Caucasians

Postby Bubbles » Tue, 26 Oct 2004 5:50 am

It's true, the measure of a truly cosmopolitan and forward thinking nation is in the respect and consideration with which they treat not only their own countrymen but others of all lands.

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

Postby Bafana » Tue, 26 Oct 2004 10:39 am

Pride & Honour & Respect wrote:Damn - We are proud to be Singaporean. We are proud to be top in the world in areas like e-government, technology, bc transparency, bz environment etc...
We never took mediocricy as a reference. We always strive to be better than the rest of the world. In plain English: We also should try to treat foreigners better than we might be treated overseas. We should set an example for the world that Singaporean are cosmopolitan, self-confident and have the guts to respect other people whatever their race. Singaporean should develop style and dont resort to silly excuses like.. well I was also disrespected overseas.
Think about it compatriots.


Nice attitude - Thanks :D

User avatar
spring_tomorrow
Regular
Regular
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun, 26 Sep 2004
Location: Singapore

Postby spring_tomorrow » Tue, 26 Oct 2004 3:41 pm

Pride & Honour & Respect wrote:Damn - We are proud to be Singaporean. We are proud to be top in the world in areas like e-government, technology, bc transparency, bz environment etc...
We never took mediocricy as a reference. We always strive to be better than the rest of the world. In plain English: We also should try to treat foreigners better than we might be treated overseas. We should set an example for the world that Singaporean are cosmopolitan, self-confident and have the guts to respect other people whatever their race. Singaporean should develop style and dont resort to silly excuses like.. well I was also disrespected overseas.
Think about it compatriots.


I am proud to be a Singaporean as well. I certainly like what you've said. Made a lot of sense :wink:

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed, 27 Oct 2004 4:00 pm

Pride & Honour & Respect wrote:Damn - We are proud to be Singaporean. We are proud to be top in the world in areas like e-government, technology, bc transparency, bz environment etc...
We never took mediocricy as a reference. We always strive to be better than the rest of the world. In plain English: We also should try to treat foreigners better than we might be treated overseas. We should set an example for the world that Singaporean are cosmopolitan, self-confident and have the guts to respect other people whatever their race. Singaporean should develop style and dont resort to silly excuses like.. well I was also disrespected overseas.
Think about it compatriots.

goes both ways buddy, lets not be idealistic. ..
while i certainly do not think singaporeans will or should disrespect expats because they initially felt disrepected overseas before they eventually got used to a new culture and assimilated , subsequently having a better time. ( a tit for tat treatment was never my point)
i do think think that respect should go both ways, and expats likewise should have a proper decency and common sense to respect the locals and the make a effort to assimilate into the culture if they wish to have a good time on the red dot.
it would be idealistic to say that singaporeans are "superior" to others .. which i as a singaporean certainly do not think so.and as a singaporean beg to differ. it is the same anywhere as long as you have human beings .
and being human , we form cliches and firmly established social circles. and one is not likely to get out of his or her way in order to make someone feel welcomed, whether the host is an american,frenchmen, singaporean or chinaman.it is up to the new comer to the group to make the first move.
while it sounds almighty and idealistic to say that we singaporeans should be BETTER than the rest of the world,:p, it is easy to be naive and forget we are also HUMAN like the rest of the world.

perhaps that lies a delicate balance between being expectant of one's host to be open and friendly and taking the initiative to make new friends with an open mind to a new society and culture without judging the host country with our own inherited values .
perhaps then it would be easier to assimilate into the culture and have a great time living there when one is open minded.
anyway i wish out expat friends tha happiest days in singapore.
cheers

Dutchexpat

racisme

Postby Dutchexpat » Fri, 29 Oct 2004 6:28 am

I'm a Caucasian man from Holland how is going to be transferred to Singapore beginning next year. Of course I am interested in the interaction between expats and locals. Running threw this topic I read a lot of things from frustrated people. I've been to Asia before and yes people thought I was different and guess what I am when I am in Asia but I see it more as a positive feature. I would hate it to go to Singapore and find out I'm the same as everybody else there. No to Racism - I often think that racism is a two way street - feel discriminated and then get discriminated. Here in Holland I dated a girl which had Indonesian parents but she didn't feel and didn't get discriminated while her dad ran into it everyday - how is this possible?? They had the same looks..... It’s more about interaction if you like the other person changes are he will like you as well. And yes I think there will be narrowed minded people in Singapore as there are in the rest of the world but I think I will like the idea I will be the different one in Singapore as I noticed in other countries in the world.
Anyone had positive experiences being the white guy in the Asian world?
:lol:

fav

Postby fav » Fri, 29 Oct 2004 9:28 am

It doesn't actually matter if you are foreign or not, what really matters is how you behave and your look .. this is what really matters .. if you are handsome and act arrogant you'll have the same problem everywhere in the world .. if you look like a monkey and are on the other hand very charming you'll probably find some better friends .. if you are goodlooking and charming no one can stop you.

Just my 5 cents

romano

Postby romano » Mon, 08 Nov 2004 6:40 pm

I am an Italian expat,I felt that looking good is rather a disadvantage. Jealousy and mocking wherever you go - though I am anything but arrogant. I am rather a shy, friendly and humble personality according to my friends. As stupid as it might sound at times I wished to look ugly or just bloody averagy,I envy those people---at least over here in Singap.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests