Hi y’all! My name is Avi Minocha and I am a third year Computer Science major. I just arrived in Singapore to start my semester at the National University of Singapore, and to be honest, the past few days have been such a whirlwind of trying to settle in and get ready for classes to start. Throughout all of this, I found a little bit of time to explore Singapore, and after only a week here I’ve started to notice that what makes Singapore unique from other countries I’ve visited is its diversity.
First of all, the people. Singaporeans originally come from all over the world – China, Malaysia, and India just to name a few countries. Because of this, Singapore doesn’t have one official language, and I’ve noticed that a lot of the subway signs are written in multiple languages.
Secondly, as a direct result of the people, the food is extremely diverse. Singapore is well known for its hawker centers, which are basically outdoor food courts with a ton of amazing but cheap food options (some even have food stalls with Michelin stars!). Just by looking at the food you get from these hawker centers, it would be extremely hard to figure out what country in Asia you are actually in, as the food from these hawker centers comes from all over.
Last but not least, the different parts of Singapore. Even though Singapore is a small country, there is such a variety of places and things here, both old and new.
A lot of countries are defined by their one specific culture, but a major part of Singapore’s identity is its diversity, and that’s what makes it distinct. Rather than feel divided by this diversity, I feel as though Singapore has embraced this diversity in order to construct a national identity that is truly their own. I could really see that during my first week here, and I am looking forward to exploring it more throughout the semester!
This post was contributed by Avi Minocha, a 2019 Global Ambassador.
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