Singapore in the Media & Reflective Essay

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Cultural Studies

Document 1

Arts, Culture and a distinct Singaporean Identity (The Straits Times, May 22, 2017) The article “Arts, culture and a distinct Singaporean identity” is about a speech given by Lee Hsien Loong Singapore’s Prime Minister, during the opening of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre in Shenton Way. The event took place about a year ago. To begin with, this article talks about how Singaporeans have progressed and evolved over the years since independence in terms of culture, traditions and heritage hence creating a unique distinctive identity across the different ethnic groups (Malays, Indians, Eurasian and Chinese). This article is based on three noticeable factors that shape-up the distinctive identity of the Singaporean Chinese culture; the first factor is the unquestionable acceptance and embrace of multi-religion, multi-racial and multi-culturalism by the Singaporeans.

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In spite of the Chinese being the majority in Singapore they do not impose that the minor ethnic groups adopt the Chinese culture and tradition or even speak Mandarin. Next, the article reveals the multilingual state of Singapore which is evident in the bilingual education system adopted. Additionally, the article promotes lessons of tranquility and culture rootedness which in turn instill a sense of confidence, belonging and identity. Furthermore, the article reveals the factors that shape the distinctive Singaporean cultural identity. All in all, these factors paint a picture of Singapore’s culture. REFLECTIVE ESSAY “It is insufficient to have an experience in order to learn. This is almost an art! In the recent years, I have realized that Singapore is more than just a tourist destination and a trade centre.

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It reveals a particular sense of cultural rootedness, confidence and cultural identity, especially when you see the individuals of different ethnic groups co-exist together peacefully it then hits you that “it’s only in Singapore where individuals identify first as Singaporeans before identifying with their ethnic affiliations. Each ethnic group has an instinctive sense of superiority and pride in its culture. Individuals of these ethnic groups have confined themselves to this sense which results to reinforcement of racial separation and difference. At times, I inwardly wonder why people refer to Singapore as small Asia; it was until recently that an idea crossed my mind about examining the influence of both western and Asian cultures. My reflection on cognition and motivation across cultures and cross-cultural communication I agree that prior to learning this topic it didn’t know much about cross-cultural communication let alone the definition itself.

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Currently, I am aware of a substantive amount of information ranging from what cross cultural communication is all about, cultural influence in the communication process, and the verbal and non-verbal aspects of cross-cultural communication. Additionally, this topic solidified my view of cultural competence. Recently I found myself reading a publication by Stavan (1995) on cultural competence, this got me thinking of the most effective ways of communicating with people of different cultures. I have hence realized that language is a reflection of one’s cultural background. The five dimensions include; Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, Masculinity vs Femininity Individualism vs Collectiveness, and Long-Term vs Short-Term orientation. Power Distance Both Singaporeans and French have high power distance. The Singaporean high index can be attributed to the education system and family upbringing, which cultivate a culture of respecting and obeying those in authoritative positions.

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Singaporean culture is stretched to how employees act in organizations. Singapore’s high power distance can also be attributed to the bulk and collective civil servants’ employment and the organizational structures with distinct hierarchical job duties as well chain of command. On the other hand, France rates relatively high on individualism as they consider individualism as an important ingredient of French values. The French usually concentrate on persons and their direct family interests as opposed to prioritizing communal interest. Moreover, French have trust issues which results to suspicion among workmates and hence they are cautious and watchful. Masculinity vs Femininity Singaporeans are more considerate about femininity in the society. Distinguishing of gender duties isn’t done clearly since women are currently being regarded as important components in the Singaporean workforce.

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Coming from a feminine inclined county I expect the company’s manager to ensure there is a favorable working atmosphere and provide an opportunity for career advancement. SUMMARY In conclude, it’s evident that national culture of each country differ from one country to another according to Hofstede’s culture model. Moreover, Organizational culture is present in all organizational aspects, it is a component of each employee and manager their attitudes and beliefs. The issue of cultural differences and their influence on the organizational culture is very crucial in the attempt to increase multicultural diversity in an organization which arises as a result of the globalization process and establishment of larger organizations. This culture is viewed as the organization’s personality from the way employees and other company stakeholders behave and react to changing circumstances.

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