Singapore or officially known as Republic of Singapore is an island country comprising sixty-three islands. Singapore is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. Singapore is both the country and its capital as it is a city-state. The main island is also popularly known as ‘Pulau Ujong’. At a lofty elevation of 545 ft, Bukit Timah is the highest point in the country. The name Singapore is derived from the word ‘SingaPura’ or ‘Lion city’, it originated in the 14th century when the Sumatran price set foot on the island and saw a beast which was similar to a lion.

Which religions are followed in Singapore?

The population of Singapore comprises of its citizens practicing a wide range of religions as per their beliefs, culture and background. Buddhism is the largest religion followed in Singapore comprising 43% of the total population, it includes Mahayana Buddhists, Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhists. From the ancient time, the inhabitants of China including Catholics and Christians have migrated to Singapore, contributing 18% of the total population. Hinduism is followed by the Indians comprising 5% of the total population and about 15% of the total population are the followers of Islam. A large number of people do not follow or practice any religion and are termed as free thinkers or atheists. They comprise of 15% of Singapore’s total population. Monasteries and Dharma centres have been built in many parts of Singapore.

What are the languages spoken in Singapore?

There are variety of languages spoken in Singapore due to the people belonging from different religions and ethnic groups. Tamil, Mandarin Chinese, English and Malay are the four official languages of Singapore. Mandarin Chinese is usually spoken by the natives who have their origination from China. English language is among the most preferred languages of Singapore as people find it easier to communicate with others in English. It is also the language in which all the business and administration work is done and the medium of communication in school and universities is also English. If at all the official documentation work is in Tamil, Malay or Mandarin it has to be translated to English before it gets approved. English spoken in the country heavily borrows Malay words. About 50% of the total population uses their native language that is Chinese, along with 32% of the people using English as their first language. Tamil language comprises of 3% of the population, with 12% of the people speaking Malay.

How are the climatic conditions in Singapore?

The climatic conditions of Singapore are very much similar to that of South East Asia. The weather conditions in country usually vary every day, as they have no fixed seasons. The climate is usually hot and humid all year round. The temperature never falls down below 20°C, but usually rises up to 30°C during the day. The humidity level in the country is quite high. Rainfall in the country can be sudden even in the non-monsoon period, which cools down the weather and makes the climate quite pleasant. Singapore has two monsoon seasons. The first monsoon period is from November to December which is often referred as the ‘wet phase’ and the second monsoon period is from June to September and it is referred as ‘dry phase’. During the wet phase, abundant rainfall or heavy rainfall is experienced with thunderstorms, where as the dry phase has comparatively less rainfall.

What is the staple diet of the people of Singapore?

The staple diet of the people in this country includes rice, fish, chicken and vegetables. There are many variations in their cuisine as their dishes are made using many different ingredients like spices, chillies, coconuts, lime and tamarind. People usually prefer eating their meals outside their home at the food centres, as the food prepared there is fresh, tasty and cheap. Food is preferred to be consumed when hot. The Malay and Indian dishes are preferred to be eaten with hands and Chinese food is consumed with the help of chopsticks. Their meal consists of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Among the most popular dishes include Laksa, Hokkien mee, Satay, Nasi lemak, Bak kut teh and Rojak.

Bak kut teh

What are the unique animal species found in Singapore?

Singapore is home to a number of different animal species. Among the mammals, the long-tailed macaque is a species of monkey native to Asia. They are more often found lingering around in the cities creating a nuisance by raiding people’s homes. A large population of bats is found in Singapore namely fruit bat, pouched tombed bat, lesser false vampire bat, greater bamboo bats and lesser bamboo bats. Among the amphibious creatures, a variety of frog species are found in Singapore. The frog specie includes the black-eyed litter frog and the spotted tree frog. There are many lizards, snakes and crocodiles found inhabiting in this country.

Black-eyed litter frog

Lesser bamboo bats

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