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10 Traits and Quirks of Singaporeans

Updated on December 13, 2016

10 Traits and Quirks of Singaporeans

What are Singaporeans like?

1. Queuing

Whenever there is a new toy released (Minion Toys, Hello Kitty), a popular artiste's concert upcoming, famous Nasi Lemak (a type of food), iPhone 7, freebies or anything trendy, Singaporeans love to queue for it.

To us, long queues equates to something good - we may enter the queue even without knowing what the queue is for.

There is a pot of gold at the rainbow's end. THERE HAS TO BE.
There is a pot of gold at the rainbow's end. THERE HAS TO BE. | Source

2. We Dress Down.... Everyday

T-shirts, shorts and slippers are a common sight in Singapore. The hot and humid weather does not make any other dress style feasible.

Too hot lah, bro.
Too hot lah, bro.

3. We are Kiasu

In Hokkien, kia means scared, and su means lose.

Singaporeans are scared of losing, and we always desire to be number one in whatever we do. While this may be the cause of our economic success, it may have created unnecessary stress for Singaporeans - parents desire their kids to be the best in their class, resulting in young children having their timetables fully packed with tuition, enrichment classes, music / art / dance lessons, etc.

Ah boy ah, next time must get all As for exam ok?
Ah boy ah, next time must get all As for exam ok?

4. Chope seats

Chope means reserve. In Singapore's food courts or hawker centres, you can chope a seat using a packet of tissue paper, an umbrella, or a waterbottle, etc.

It's definitely handy when you're eating alone, and don't want to be holding onto a heavy tray of hot noodles, desperately searching for a place to sit.

This seat is taken!
This seat is taken!

5. Exaggerating

We tend to exaggerate things or make them bigger than they are for purposes of humour. We complain about it, make memes about it, share it furiously, and then... we move on to the next topic for our daily dose of entertainment.


6. Up to date

We are constantly updating our own social media - Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, with the activities we are doing.

Take away our mobile data (Refer to the latest Singtel data network crash), and we will declare war.

STOP! The camera eats first!
STOP! The camera eats first!

7. Modern, yet Traditional

Singaporeans are a good blend of modernity and tradition.

We chase after and indulge in modern, the latest, newest technology upgrades, but we still retain our traditional values and culture.

Visiting graves during Qing Ming, Hungry Ghost Festivals, Lion Dance, etc. are some cultural activities that are common in Singapore.


8. Cafe Hopping

The coffee culture is strong in Singapore - we love cafe hopping, tasting lattes, instagramming latte art and other cafe snacks.

Last Sunday I went to eat at this cafe, damn nice sia!
Last Sunday I went to eat at this cafe, damn nice sia!

9. We are Kaypoh

We are inquisitive people, often asking questions to find out what happened or what is the latest gossip.

It kills us inside when there is something to be known, but we do not know it yet.

Eh! What happened to Tommy ah?
Eh! What happened to Tommy ah?

10. Singlish

The most defining characteristic of a Singaporean - speaking Singlish, a creole formed by the mixing of multiple languages (English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Malay, Cantonese, etc.)

Singlish allows us to communicate what we want to say, in the most direct and fewest number of words possible.

Some common Singlish phrases.
Some common Singlish phrases.

Have a Singaporean quirk or trait to include?

So that's it for our list of Singaporean quirks and traits! Leave a comment below if there are any other traits that you want to share with us.


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