Can Singaporean Chinese and Malaysians speak Tamil
5 facts about Singapore you definitely won't know
Singapore is also known as “the fine country”. “Fine” stands for a fine, because as a Singapore resident you can be punished for anything and everything - whether you stick your chewing gum under your seat or feed the monkeys. Even handcuffs (like these fluffy ones in pink) are forbidden.
On the other hand, why would you want to wear them too? Anyway, if that doesn't surprise you, here are five more Singapore facts about things you probably didn't know about this lovely little city-state in Southeast Asia.
1. Singapore is growing steadily
Yes, you've read that correctly. Singapore has grown 25% in the past 40 years since independence. This was made possible by reclaiming land from the sea. If you visit Marina Bay, East Coast or Tuas, you will find yourself on ground that is not too old.
One of the main drivers of land reclamation is the growth of Singapore's population - within half a century Singapore's population rose from 1.6 million to 5.3 million. Besides Monaco, Singapore is the country with the highest population density with 6430 people per square kilometer.
But if the main island is too crowded, don't worry, Singapore currently has 63 islands and so there is always an (almost) deserted island to which you can escape. Popular with Singapore residents are Pulau Ubin, Pulau Hantu, Sisters Island, Sentosa and St. John's Island.
2. Chewing gum was once banned (and you still can't buy one)
Since the unpopular ban was lifted, Singapore residents have been able to chew gum again. But you will have to bring your own supply from overseas (the authorities are unlikely to confiscate it).
Keep in mind, however, that it is not allowed to sell chewing gum, and you won't find any in stores. So if you're desperately looking for some chewing gum, your best bet is to take a quick trip over to Malaysia.
3. The official language is currently Malaysian
There are four officially recognized languages in the island nation: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Although English is widely spoken in Singapore's population, Malay is the official language for historical reasons.
It is used, for example, in military command language and is also the language of the national anthem “Majulah Singapura”, which means “Forward, Singapore!”
4. Singapore's residents are the fastest pedestrians in the world
Crazy, right? Who was the guy who said, "I'm so bored ... I'll measure how fast people walk." It was British psychologist Richard Wiseman. He examined cities in 32 countries and found that the five fastest pedestrians in the world live here:
- Copenhagen (Denmark)
- Madrid (Spain)
- Guangzhou (China)
- Dublin (Ireland)
For the investigation, he took a busy street in each city with a wide sidewalk that was flat, free of obstacles, and not too crowded for people to run at their maximum speed.
Armed with stopwatches, it took 35 men and women to cover a distance of 60 feet (18 meters).
Anyone who called on their cell phone or struggled with their shopping bags was not taken into account. What can you say, even New Yorkers seem slower. Who would have thought?
5. Chili crabs
It's one of the seven most famous (and delicious!) Dishes in the world and number 35 on the list of the 50 Most Delicious Foods in the World compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
It's a popular fish dish that originated in Singapore and is usually made with mud crab fried and served in a thickened, sweet and savory tomato and chilli sauce.
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