All the hard work pays off, literally, as Singapore is a relatively wealthy country.
However, how the people spend their money and time off is very personalized. Singapore
has no shortage of options when it comes to entertainment and as a transportation
hub the people can get nearly anywhere in a short amount of time.
However, one aspect of this free time and life that is often overlooked by visitors
is that of the daily life after work. While the sky scrapers and laws outlawing
gum to maintain cleanliness may give one the impression of sterility, in homes life
is much more colorful as markets offer street foods, colorful clothing, and a more
laid back lifestyle that is often times much more traditional that it is modern.
The people of Singapore almost always identify in two
ways: both by their ethnicity and by their nationality. As a country primarily consisting
of ethnic Chinese, Malays, and Indians, among others, the people almost always state
their ethnicity, but also claim that they are Singaporean, which is simply defined
by being a citizen of Singapore. In this way the people hold on to their ethnic,
linguistic, and cultural identities, but differentiate themselves from people in
China, India, or Malaysia by stating they are also Singaporean. Due to this means
of identifying, the people are also united as Singaporeans no matter their ethnicity.
More than just in name, most Singaporeans differentiate themselves from foreigners
of the same ethnicity in many ways, most notably in lifestyle and the fact that
most Singaporeans speak both their native language as well as English (English tends
to be the language of communication among the Singaporeans). In an odd way, this
is another important aspect in defining what it means to be "Singaporean,"
as opposed to being wholly "Chinese," "Indian," or "Malay."