Singapore is a multiracial society with population approximately 4.9millions. Its population is made up of 76.8% Chinese, 13.9% Malay, 7.9% Indian and 1.4% other races. Since its independence from Malaysia 45years ago, Singapore has developed into one of the economically successful country within Southeast Asia. Ever year, investors and businessmen would travel to this small island to seek business opportunities. Therefore prior to first meeting, it is always wise to learn about the etiquette of different cultures in Singapore.
The four official languages in Singapore are English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Although Malay is the National Language of Singapore, English is considered as first language in educational system and work environment. (Sherisse et al, 2009: pp436) Most Singaporeans below 65 years of age are either bilingual or multilingual. Generally, they will be able to communicate in English, mother tongue and/or dialect. However foreigners visiting Singapore for the first time would often become perplexed by an unrecognizable language known as ‘Singlish’. Singlish is the local slang widely spoken among the locals and is an important part of Singapore’s culture. It is more commonly used during casual conversations but not at work or formal meetings.
Singaporeans tends to be fashionably late for social events but are particular when it comes to formal appointments. (Kett, 1998) Regardless of culture, it is never polite to arrive late especially for a business meeting. Always plan your travelling time well and try to set off early. In events of unpunctuality due to unforeseen circumstances, make it a point to inform your host in advance.
Chinese have their family name before the given names while Malays and Indians, although they do not have a family name, use their given names comes before their father's name. (Kett, 1998) Therefore, when addressing a Chinese, Malay or... [continues]
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