School Trips to Singapore:
Throughout history, Chinese migrants have settled in many parts of the world, bringing with them a piece of Chinese culture. Nowadays, you can find the Chinese diaspora in almost every corner of the world. This is especially prevalent in certain parts of the world, such as Southeast Asia, where Chinese culture in Singapore is very pronounced.
Today, this is reflected in many facets of life. From business, food, fashion, language, to architecture, Chinese culture in Singapore is so ingrained within Singaporean life that is many regards the two are inextricably intertwined. And if you’re Singaporean, you may not even realize it!
So why are we discussing Chinese culture in Singapore? As you may or may not know, cultural enrichment is an essential component of academic development and character building for students that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. However, more and more studies are revealing the benefits of having students participate in culturally enriching field trips when it pertains to scoring higher academic results (Brigham Young University, 2022).
Field Trips to China
Given China’s sheer geographical size, history, and cultural variety, China is an exciting and recommended destination for students to visit and explore. China is the second biggest economy in the world and its impact on the global economy is profound yet covert to your average consumer (Herrala&Orlandi, 2021).
Despite this, and China being the most populated country in the world, knowledge of Chinese culture remains relatively low especially in Western countries. Hence, being immersed in Chinese culture can be a completely foreign and unfamiliar experience which makes field trips to China even more engaging and memorable.
But organizing field trips to China for students overseas continues to be postponed as China’s international borders are still closed off for non-mainland Chinese residents. It may not be visibly apparent to you, but understanding Chinese culture is useful in explaining why other countries with Chinese cultural influences operate the way they do.
Moreover, aspects of Chinese culture in Singapore such as food, martial arts, art, and philosophy (just to name a few) have a global influence on contemporary culture (De Mente, 2011). Therefore, understanding Chinese culture extends its utility to providing you with a deeper understanding of the world!
WildChina Education’s Program Chinese Culture in Singapore
WildChina Education is providing an opportunity for students looking to culturally enrich themselves with a fully-fledged student program that divulges Chinese culture in Singapore. While Singapore is its own distinct country with its own unique culture, elements of Chinese culture are embedded in almost every facet of Singaporean life.
This is a result of years and years of massive Chinese migration to Singapore that has and continues to take place today. Consequently, students can learn about Chinese culture in Singapore very easily.
So, what’s the story behind the connection between Chinese culture in Singapore? How did Chinese culture end up becoming such an important component of Singaporean culture, and how does Chinese culture influence Singapore today?
Chinese Migration to Singapore
Did you know that Chinese Singaporeans constitute 76.2% of the overall Singaporean population? This makes them the largest ethnic group in Singapore. Moreover, Singapore is the only country outside of China in which ethnic Chinese represents the majority of the population.
So, what caused this? The first wave of Chinese migration to Singapore can be traced all the way back to the 19th century. After the establishment of Singapore as a British trading post, Chinese traders from the Malaysian regions of Malacca and Penang crossed over to Singapore.
Many of these immigrants had already settled in Malaysia for several generations, meaning they could speak both Chinese and Malay. Soon, the Chinese quickly became the majority of the Singaporean population, and by 1826 there were more Chinese than Malays. By the 1830s, 45.9% of the population was Chinese.
Coupled with Singapore’s free trade policies and being an entry and dispersal point for large numbers of Chinese and Indian workers, Singapore was a region that attracted more and more Chinese migrants particularly from Southern China. Consequently, there are many dialects spoken in Singapore that you would find in regions of China, such as Cantonese, and Hokkien.
Chinese Culture’s Influence in Singapore
Given Singapore’s long history with Chinese immigrants making Singapore their home, it’s no surprise that you can find and identify Chinese culture in Singapore within all facets of Singaporean culture.
While English is the official language of Singapore, many of the slang and phrases that local Singaporeans use in their day-to-day vernacular have Chinese roots. Some of the phrases are so unique and atypical of the English vocabulary, that Singaporeans essentially speak ‘Singlish’ – a complex and colourful combination of English and other Chinese, Malay, and Indian cultures.
For example, the slang ‘dabao’ means to take away food. You would typically use this term at a restaurant to take your food home. But the word ‘dabao’ has the same meaning (and spelling in pinyin) in Mandarin (打包dǎ bāo).
And of course, you can see Chinese culture reflected in Singaporean cuisine. Singapore’s staple dish, ‘Hainanese Chicken Rice’, originates from the island of Hainan in Southern China. Other signature dishes in Singapore such as char siu pork and rice is a Cantonese dish that originated from Guangdong province in Southern China.
The list goes on as to how Chinese culture is intimately connected with Singaporean culture. That’s why our Chinese culture in Singapore student program is guaranteed to provide a unique and authentic exploration of Chinese culture for students who still want that ultimate Chinese culture experience.
If your students are graduating without exposure to Chinese culture due to China’s closed borders, consider enrolling in our student program that explores Chinese culture in the context of Singapore!
For more information, contact us here.
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Brigham Young University. (2022, February 22). Want students to do better in class? Send them on culturally enriching field trips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 4, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220222125106.htm
De Mente, B. L. (2011). Chinese mind: Understanding traditional Chinese beliefs and their influence on contemporary culture. Tuttle Publishing.
Herrala, R., &Orlandi, F. (2021). Win-Win? Assessing the global impact of the Chinese economy. Asia and the Global Economy, 1(1), 100006.