When I first heard about the word “Singlish”, I was not able to find out the meaning of it from a dictionary. Finally from a tour guide, I know that it is actually a local colloquial dialect of English, a kind of English which incorporates vocabulary and grammar from various Chinese dialects, Malay as well as Indian languages, which are the common languages use on the streets of Singapore. How “Singlish” was derived, I guess is to do with the country origin, i.e. Singapore was occupied by Japanese during World War II, ruled by British, then merged with Malaysia and later became an independent republic itself.
If you are wandering on the streets of Chinatown, Little India and Geylang Serai, you will get a feel of its history and the wealth of its multicultural diversity. Today Singapore has united Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arabic and European traditions and created a colorful contrasted landscape of vibrant diffusion. Although Singapore is a small nation of 63 islands with about 705 sq km and with a population of about 4.5m, but is in the top 20 wealthiest country list in the world! It is no surprise to find that Singapore is strikingly modern with its spotless streets, arrays of concrete and glass of post-modern architecture and with thousands of foreign expatriates.
When you are in Singapore, you will have the chance to indulge in some of the world’s most delicious and diverse cuisine in the abundant hawker markets and food stalls. Worries about the cleanness of the foods in food stalls? Not so, as Singapore official public health control are very strict and is of the highest standard to what I know as well as based on experience. As for prices, it vary according to the center, and in case you worried being fleeced by them, the best money saving traveling tip is to ask at your hotel or check your guide book for specific recommendations.
If you are a non Asian, three menu items which is also the locals favorite that I highly recommend you to eat are i.e. Hainanese chicken rice (a casserole of chicken, Chinese sausage, Chinese mushrooms and rice), carrot cake or the locals call it chye tow kway (a type of vegetable omelette with chilli) and laksa (spicy coconut soup with quail’s eggs, bean curd, bean sprouts, chicken, prawns and noodles). And of course, there are much more foods to enjoy than this, you may want to know that Singapore has a reputation as the food capital of Asia for its huge variety of superb restaurants, and cuisine of virtually every country can be found there!