A lot of people know that you cannot bring in chewing gum to Singapore and there is a hefty fine for littering. But there are other nuances about Singapore that you might not know! Here are just a few of them:
- Singapore is not all that ‘concrete’: I was quite pleasantly surprised that Singapore is not a concrete jungle! It’s actually a tropical paradise! The country has gone to such great length to keep it green cover that it has imported fully grown trees (not saplings) and got them planted here! Well if you ask how – I would say – when there is a will there is a way too. Soon it will be a city in a garden than vice versa.
- The love for Milo: Singaporeans love Milo. Irrespective of age, race, and creed and any possible other category, the locals have quite a liking for the malt and sugar drink! In fact you get dishes like Milo Prata! Well, that’s some love for Milo.
- You cannot probably keep that pet you love: You may love Labradors and want to bring one home. But if you happen to stay in an HDB flat, you will have to let go your dream. The HDB has an approved list of dogs you can keep. This includes smaller breeds like Pug, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu and others. Here’s the complete list: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10326p.nsf/w/PetBreedsAllowed?OpenDocument. This perhaps is primarily because bigger breeds can pose problem in terms of space, etc. However, you are allowed to keep other smaller pets such as fish, hamsters, rabbits, and birds.
- No meowing: It’ not just dog breeds, HDB Flat owners are not allowed to keep cats in HDB flats as well! And yes, none of the breeds are allowed.
- No crows: I stumbled upon an article on Singapore and it’s then when I realized that I cannot remember if ever spotted a crow in the country. Read more http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/world/asia/08singapore.html?fta=y
- 4 Official Languages: The tiny country has 4 official languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil to cater to the diverse population. In fact in the public transport system like the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) announcements are made in all 4 languages.
- Public Holiday for Deepawali: Only few countries outside India provide a public holiday on the occasion of Deepawali and Singapore happens to be one of them, thanks to the local Indian population. The government also gives PH on other occasions such as the Chinese New Year, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Pusa to allow celebrations for the diverse population in the country.