We're A Bit Tired of Being Called A Garden City

Close Up

August 8, 2017 | BY Chong Seow Wei

How can we truly describe the Singapore of today? Our Singapore Tatler friends weigh in.  

Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov/Unsplash

National Day is still a few hours away, and we’re already in the celebratory mood. We asked a few society friends to tell us what makes Singapore (and Singaporeans) unique, because why not? Besides, isn't it time we moved on from the overused terms of "garden city" and "kan chiong spiders"? 



FOMO ("Fear of Missing Out")

This epitomises our kiasu mentality, which makes us Singaporeans uniquely who we are.  

Serene Chua




We are a really young nation that has transformed from a third- to first-world country in a very short time because we managed to create something of our own. Most importantly, we are still looking to develop ourselves in so many different ways, from healthcare to technology.

Cherilyn Tan




With Singaporeans, meals are doubly generous in portion, celebrations doubly fun, and text messages from a dear friend containing double the number of smileys. Singaporeans work and play with their whole hearts, and I can double-confirm that!

Paulina Böhm


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We were built on trade because of our geographical advantage, was a manufacturing hub in the ’70s and ’80s when we capitalised on global economic trends and later, transitioned into a prominent financial and medical hub in the region. All this happened within a few generations since our founding and I'm excited to see where we’ll be heading in the next decade.

Danon Gabriel The



Photo: Iroshini and Kevin Chua


Because Singapore has all this: shiok food, shiok internet speed, shiok multicultural events, shiok airport and shiok national carrier.

Iroshini Chua


Adrian Ng (right) with wife, Loh May-Han


We are deeply passionate about our way of life—it is the intensely determined approach to work, study and play that defines us. You can see that enthusiasm and can-do spirit that burns within us at our workplaces, schools, party scenes and increasing engagement with social issues.

Adrian Ng

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