WildChina Education is excited to share with you our latest venture into Singapore! We are committed to providing students with exciting opportunities that will help them learn about Chinese culture. Our Singapore Chinese Culture Program represents one of our many initiatives outside of mainland China that will see students experience Chinese culture from an alternative lens.
There are many reasons as to why students should seriously consider Singapore as their next destination this summer for Chinese culture immersion and understanding. This article will cover reasons for the significant connection between Chinese culture and Singapore that manifests today. To those who may be unfamiliar with Singapore, this article will also introduce areas and aspects of Singaporean life that exudes Chinese culture.
Take your Students to Singapore
Despite China’s closed borders to tourists, students and teachers should be re-assured by the fact that exposure to Chinese culture is very much possible and abundant in countries like Singapore. Hence, China’s border restrictions shouldn’t deter you from providing your students with a memorable experience of Chinese culture.
In case we haven’t made it clear enough, culturally enriching field trips for students is an important component towards increasing their academic performance. More research in this field continues to be published annually, showing that students who partake in culturally enriching field trips receive a number of educational benefits, including a higher score on end-of-grade exams, and cultivating a greater tolerance for people with different opinions (Erickson, Watson & Greene, 2022).
Parents and teachers should especially pay close attention to the latter benefit! Nowadays, many of us live in multicultural societies amongst people from different ethnicities and backgrounds. In order to live and work in a harmonious society, it is important to understand different cultures from your own. Chinese culture is one of the oldest and influential cultures in the world, yet a significant majority of people outside of China have a limited understanding and knowledge of Chinese culture.
If your students fit that description, then enrolling in our Singapore Chinese Culture Program is a great place to start! Students will experience less of a large culture shock in Singapore compared to mainland China, as English is the official language in Singapore. Consequently, students who are China novices may feel more comfortable exploring Chinese culture in the context of Singapore.
Singapore Chinese Culture Program
So why does Chinese culture play an important role in Singapore? There are many historical reasons for this, which date back more than 200 years! For a more detailed answer to this question, read our previous article which covers Chinese culture in Singapore here.
For the sake of brevity, Singapore experienced a rise in immigration from Chinese workers that started from the 19th century. These workers were primarily from South and South-East China, who came to work and eventually settle in Singapore. Nowadays, you’ll find people from all parts of China who reside in Singapore!
This long history of Chinese immigration has shaped the language and culture of Singapore. For example, the most common surnames in Singapore – which include Lee, Tan, Chan, Ong, Ng and Teo – are Chinese surnames in dialect form written in English. You can find lots of modern Singapore slang with its roots from Chinese dialects. And students are taught Chinese as a second language at most primary and secondary schools.
Another example that demonstrates the influence of Chinese culture in Singapore is that Singaporeans from all backgrounds (whether Chinese, Malay, or Indian) celebrate Chinese festivals such as Spring Festival.
Where to Experience Chinese Culture
If you want a taste of Chinese culture in Singapore, there are many places and activities in Singapore that will cater to your request. In fact, it’s hard to navigate Singapore without seeing some Chinese cultural elements dotted around the country.
Some easy places to start learning about Chinese culture would be to visit the China Cultural Centre and Singapore’s Chinatown.
The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre is a place that welcomes both Chinese and non-Chinese visitors to learn more about the local Chinese community in Singapore. The centre includes an art exhibition, auditorium, and other amenities designed to facilitate the teaching of Chinese culture.
Some say that the best way to learn about a country’s culture is through its food. Singapore’s Chinatown is the perfect destination for students to discover and taste a range of Chinese and Singaporean cuisine. You’ll predominantly find Fujian and Guangdong cuisine here (due to the history of Fujian and Guangdong people’s migration to Singapore), and its influences are also reflected in the local Singaporean cuisine. But nowadays you’ll an array of Chinese cuisine from different regions across China.
There are plenty of activities and places in Singapore that students can visit to learn about Chinese culture. To streamline the process, WildChina Education has curated multiple learning programs in Singapore. Our programs fulfill different objectives, but take students on a journey that has them visiting the best sites that Singapore has to offer, as well completing a range of fun activities.
The aim of our Singapore Chinese Culture Program is to educate students on Chinese culture through the lens of Singapore. Our program fully utilizes historical sites and institutions that Singapore has to offer.
For example, we’ll take students to places such as the Chinatown Heritage Centre, in which students can trace the history of Singapore’s earliest Chinese settlers. And Students won’t want to miss out on visiting the Thian Hock Keng Temple, which is Singapore’s oldest Buddhist-Taoist Chinese temple.
Our Science & Technology (STEM) Program is targeted to students who are interested in learning about the infrastructure and wildlife that shapes Singapore as one of the most attractive countries to live in the world.
We’ll take students on a deep dive into Singapore’s agriculture and environmental initiatives by visiting places such as the Urban Garden City, an 8000 sqm facility that features unique farming stations. The Urban Garden City is an excellent starting point for students to learn about the importance of creating solutions for food security and food waste. For a crash course into Science & Technology in Singapore, FusionWorld is a facility that offers students to embark on a journey to learn about the latest science & engineering technologies that are cultivating in Singapore.
Finally, the aim of our History Program is rather self-explanatory. In this program, we’ll educate students on Singapore’s unique cultural history. To do this, students will be taken to multiple sites and museums that each accomplish different objectives of this program.
For example, the Asian Civilizations Museum is a must-visit for students, as it is dedicated to exploring Asia’s rich artistic heritage and particularly the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans. Visitors of the Asian Civilizations Museum will be visually edified by Singapore’s historical role as a port city in Asia. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is also a place that students cannot afford to miss. With a history of more than 150 years, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to an array of rare botanical attractions that will have your students’ jaws drop.
If your students are graduating without exposure to Chinese culture, join our Singapore Chinese Culture Program! Contact us here for more information.
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Erickson, H. H., Watson, A. R., & Greene, J. P. (2022). An Experimental Evaluation of Culturally Enriching Field Trips. Journal of Human Resources, 1020–11242R1. https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.1020-11242r1