Singapore Expats Forum

Cleaning Up

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

Jianada
Member
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun, 07 Nov 2004

Cleaning Up

Postby Jianada » Fri, 31 Dec 2004 4:31 pm

Why do the majority of Singaporeans not clean up after themselves when they go to food courts or fast food restaurants? Other places I have visited and lived in are not like this. Do people think it is beneath them here? There is a humble dignity involved in cleaning up your own mess.

Tyring to understand this part of Singaporean life. Any helpful insights would be appreciated. I'm not trying to make any assumptions or to offend anyone. :lol:

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35168
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 31 Dec 2004 6:01 pm

Jianada

This one's been done to death and I would normally tell you to do a search of the archives, however, usually on these type of boards, the east/west slamming starts up and continues to degenerate until the moderators have to delete the thread.

That said, I see it from several angles.

1. As the Asian family unit is paramount, anything outside of the family doesn't matter and is someone's elses responsibility. Hence beautiful halls in HDB flats but piles of garbage in the void decks, mail flyers everywhere even when there garbage cans usually right beside the mail slots. This part of Asian Culture, however, did not exist in Singapore until the advent of Housing Estates. The old Kampongs were FULL of Community spirit. Not sure what happened. (Education?)

2. Probably the 2nd most overused english word in Singapore after "Can" / "No Can" is "pragmatic" as in 'we're a pragmatic people'. This is used to generally explain any anti-social behavior in Singapore. e.g., if we clean up our mess then we will put somebody out of a job. (Heaven forbide a Singaporean doing custodian duties in an HDB Housing estate/hawker centre), but then like to complain about foreigners taking their jobs? If it weren't for the Foreign Custodians in the Housing Estates, this Island would be up to their @$$holes in garbage within 36 hours.

From a more positive standpoint, their pragmatism sometimes makes it easy for them to donate money to worthy causes. "If I donate my time, it keeps me from making money. If I donate money, I can still work and make more money so it costs me less and you can hire someone from a 3rd world country to do it cheaper."

The problem is that LKY spent 30 years trying to build a 1st world Infrastructure and to do that he needed maths & sciences. So now we have an island with the highest math & science academia in the world with absolutely no social graces.

Fortunately the current government has realized this and is now trying to do something about it. However, the damage has been done and 2 generations have been wasted (25 years of courtesy campaigns proves this). There has been negliable change, even during the campaigns.

Anyway, you'll get used to it just like I did 22 years ago.

Happy New Year

sms

Jianada
Member
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun, 07 Nov 2004

Postby Jianada » Fri, 31 Dec 2004 10:41 pm

SMS,

First, let me say thank you for a very thorough reply.

I noticed the same type of thing when I lived in China but I thought that it was mainly due to the large gap in the social classes. I thought that Singapore, having a more developed middle class, would be different.

I'm not sure it is typically an Asian thing, however. I also lived in Japan and that culture, in particular, cleans up after itself very well. It's a much older civilization though, I suppose.

I think it is unfortunate for Singapore that it exists in close proximity to many easily employable "poorer" nations.

Happy New Year to you as well. :wink:

Sonus
Regular
Regular
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon, 08 Mar 2004
Location: HDB

Postby Sonus » Sat, 01 Jan 2005 5:36 pm

Jianada wrote:I also lived in Japan and that culture, in particular, cleans up after itself very well. It's a much older civilization though, I suppose.


Talking about Jap culture, i also admire their type of Discipline and Attitude. Just look at their courtesy and the products or services they provide, simply 100% tiptop quality. That's why i always insist in Made In Japan products.

bobdoom
Regular
Regular
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri, 08 Oct 2004

Postby bobdoom » Sun, 02 Jan 2005 3:47 am

Sonus wrote:
Jianada wrote:I also lived in Japan and that culture, in particular, cleans up after itself very well. It's a much older civilization though, I suppose.


Talking about Jap culture, i also admire their type of Discipline and Attitude. Just look at their courtesy and the products or services they provide, simply 100% tiptop quality. That's why i always insist in Made In Japan products.


i agree...they are creative and hardworking... but at the same time... one of the most pervertic bunch of wierdos

Jianada
Member
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun, 07 Nov 2004

Postby Jianada » Sun, 02 Jan 2005 8:17 am

Hhahahaha.....God love 'em. :lol:

Guest_2

Re: Cleaning Up

Postby Guest_2 » Sun, 02 Jan 2005 4:02 pm

Jianada wrote:

Jianada wrote:Why do the majority of Singaporeans not clean up after themselves when they go to food courts or fast food restaurants? Other places I have visited and lived in are not like this. Do people think it is beneath them here? There is a humble dignity involved in cleaning up your own mess.

Tyring to understand this part of Singaporean life. Any helpful insights would be appreciated. I'm not trying to make any assumptions or to offend anyone. :lol:


I'm 100% local and I'm also completely perplexed by the behaviour of my fellow Singaporeans.

At the foodcourts, you invariably see the next group standing and waiting to use your table as soon as your group leaves. Now, if the plates are left for the cleaners to clear, how is the waiting group going to use that table? Don't tell me Singaporeans expect the waiting diners, their fellow Singaporeans, to clear their plates for them? This really boggles my mind and fills me with alarm.

At the condo pool, it's the same thing. The first group of swimmers will leave their trash at the deck chairs and tables for the cleaners to clear. Now, how many times a day do the cleaners do their rounds? If the next family comes to the pool before the cleaners, this family will have to clean up after their neighbours. Is this really the intention of the first group, to have their own neighbours in their condo clear up for them; or have their brains taken a leave of absence, that they don't even understand what they've just done? For a nation of top scorers in mathematics and science and the like, I find this absolutely incredible.

Now, being mindful of what sms said about East/West slamming, if anybody gets angry at what I just wrote, please direct your anger to the right target, I'm not an expat but 100% local.

Guest_2
Chinese and 100% Singaporean

Sonus
Regular
Regular
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon, 08 Mar 2004
Location: HDB

Postby Sonus » Sun, 02 Jan 2005 5:21 pm

bobdoom wrote:.. but at the same time... one of the most pervertic bunch of wierdos


Anyway we heck care about their pervertism, we just extract their best to be use on ourselves. :)

Global Citizen

Postby Global Citizen » Sun, 02 Jan 2005 11:04 pm

SMS and Guest_2: You've both hit the nail on the head and unfortunate as it is, I couldn't agree more abt the behaviour.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests