Singapore Identity Analysis

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“Eh, what is our Singaporean identity ah?” “What’s that? So chim, I don’t know la. Merlion lor. Marina Bay Sands lor.” “They are national icons, not national identity lah!” Do you understand this conversation between two locals? If you do, congratulations: you are a certified, true-blue Singaporean! However most unfortunately, this is the reaction of most Singaporeans when asked about our nation’s national identity —we are inextricably confused and confounded. For the longest time ever, Singaporeans have been debating over what exactly the Singaporean identity should be. The concept of having a national identity is inherently foreign to many because national identity is subjective to different individuals who come from vastly contrasting backgrounds,…show more content…
Singapore is an immigrant nation, with high levels of diversity within her population. With all the diverse races, cultures and languages present in Singapore, it is almost impossible to assimilate everything to form an authentic Singapore identity. To ensure and enforce a level of peace and stability, we were forced to tolerate other cultures so that there would not be the occurrence of other ethnic riots after 1965. However, it was not to be. There was the Little India riot in 2013 which was started by a conflict between 2 people of clearly different races. Singapore has tried her best to establish a shared values system as well as creating her own national identity in the process. However, national identity cannot be a culmination of all the different values that exist in a society at any one time. Implementing measures like mass immigration to respond to the falling birth rates have not helped in forming national identity as well. Singapore is only 50 years old —compared to other countries, she is considered an adolescent and too young to have a true identity to call her own. However, it is ludicrous to give Singapore a verdict that she will never be able to have a national identity. Many established countries in the world have been a young nation once, but yet they now possess a strong national identity. I believe…show more content…
We have our own jargon; we have our own special traditions; we have a harmonious multicultural society. Nonetheless, Singapore can afford to do more to build a stronger sense of national identity. I believe that we can forge a stronger identity by committing ourselves into preserving Singapore’s rich heritage, so that future generations of Singapore would be reminded about our shared history. Schools can organise field trips to museums like the Asian Civilisation Museum and the Peranakan museum for students to learn more about Singapore’s history and the arduous process that Singapore went through for her to be who she is today. We can visit Fort Canning Park to see how the British took their last, futile stand against the Japanese. We can watch the footage of how the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew cried after Singapore’s separation from Malaysia. All these form a common history and set of values that many Singaporeans can relate to and will allow the younger generation to gain a stronger sense of belonging and rootedness to Singapore. Building a stronger national identity now will prove to be a apt stepping stone for Singapore’s development as a whole. We belong anywhere we add value to. It is only with cultivating this sense of belonging in future generations will Singapore’s national identity shine all the brighter and the younger generation will be
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