Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
May 16, 2011
The Singapore Culture
Singapore is a harmonious society, where diversity is dominant throughout the entire island. The elders of Singapore have interacted with different races for generations. There is a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indians and Europeans all living within their own culture and calling themselves Singaporeans regardless of their race. Each race celebrates has their own beliefs, values and religion. Even though festivals have a special meaning to certain races, it is shared by everyone. Food is plentiful in this modern land. It is not unusual to savor different cuisines made by these different cultures and found to be very tasty. Singapore cuisine is another prime example of diversity and culture diffusion in Singapore. Malay being the natives of Singapore, where other immigrates from Malays federation is called Other Malaysians. (Jamour, 2009) Most of which devote their lives to fishing villages on the southeast coast of Singapore. Social changes in Singapore, for the last forty years have been connecting people, ideas and resources.
An American Anthropologist, Judith Jamour spent two years of field work in the villages and the urban city to publish a book titled “Malay Kinship and Marriage in Singapore.” This short version is based on kinship and social change. Malay society in Singapore (at least in the urban area) differs in several ways from that in most of the Federation. This for an example, there is an excess of males over females. The Malays are also minorities (including the Indonesians) in their own origin land. There is much diverse than normal in the case of other immigrants in the communities. The Malays are agriculturalists; they are, for the most part, in government services and various kinds of skilled and unskilled work. Economically, they are a depressed group and their exclusiveness to very little intermarriage with other ethnic group trended to perpetuate the situation. (Jamour 2009)
Dr. D. Jamour provided information on; kinship, household, marriage, the birth, adoption, and socialization of children and divorce. Marriage with relatives is approved. However, only a small amount of such unions actually occur, and in general the role of kinship in village life is not a dominate one.
Family Marriage and Divorce
Families are important with most individuals who live with their parents until marriage, after marriage maintaining a higher level of interaction with parents, brother and sisters. Probably, the common leisure activities in Singapore is the Sunday visit to the grandparents, for a meal and relax conversation with the brother, sister, in-laws, uncles and aunts, cousins and other assorted kin. The age for marriage reaches an average of 28.5 for men and 25.8 for women. Singapore is a society in which everyone is expected to marry when reaching adult status. (Congress County Studies 2007)
Chinese and Indian families rest on assumptions that the household incomes become corporate. Some Chinese combined the household with the family entrepreneurial strategy that includes mobilizing the savings of all household members and allocating them in accord with a long-term plan for family success. Such strategy might take a form in a striving business with branches in major cities, or a son or daughter employed in Singapore civil service, a large bank or a university in Australia. However, in the Malay families, husbands, wives, and children with jobs hold separate purses and sometimes individual savings accounts. It is difficult for Malays to establish family businesses as Chinese and Indians do.
Malay families have higher divorce rates than the other ethnic groups. However, Dr. D. Jamour doesn’t say why the divorce was greater, but did mention that current census show that divorce has...