Hello there amazing Kreators!
I met the wonderfully stylish and electric K. Ingram sometime back in July this year, while visiting family in NYC. We exchanged contacts, and here I am adding this little feed from sunny Singapore.
OF WHAT NATIONALITY DECENT ARE YOU and HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN SINGAPORE
I am of Indian decent, and grew up in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, India, where my fathers side of family hails from. My faint memories of India includes running barefoot on hot scorching pavement, garden full of fruit trees and vegetable roots, hating school and a distinct indian sour berries called Jamuns.
The story goes that I got my name, Ruby, from a brand of tea pack that my eldest sister fancied. An error in the spelling while registering the name eventually changed the “Y” to an “I” – Rubi
Mothers side of family hails from Singapore, and around the age of 6-ish, the parents decided that Singapore held a better promise for the growing children (we are a family of 7 – Papa, Mummy, Du, Rash, myself, Mano and Uma).
Since then, Singapore has been home.
BECAUSE YOU WORK AT KILO AND THIS IS WHERE WE REUNITED PLEASE TOUCH BASE ON THE GROUP AND YOUR POSITIONING THERE
I work for a wonderful company here called Series of Intentions (SOI) which manages the restaurant concepts Kilo Kitchen and Grain Traders. My work mainly focuses on recruitment and retention, policy making, culture and CSR and bonding activities. I like to call myself the caretaker, as this position allows me to connect to everyone and everything, and essentially, be mama-bear.
WHAT IS THE FAMILY STRUCTURE LIKE AND HOW DOES IT BOOST THE WEALTH OF THE ECONOMY. ANY BITS ON THE AVERAGE SALARY
The bulk of family structure in Singapore falls under what is termed as a Nuclear Family household , and increasingly, married without Co-residing Children and One-person Household is on the rise – the latter is a trend that is noticeable in other countries too. Singapore does not have state welfare, and the government encourages (and enforces) savings by an act called CPF (Central Provident Fund) – and to quote directly from their website:
“The CPF is a mandatory social security savings scheme funded by contributions from employers and employees. The CPF is a key pillar of Singapore’s social security system, and serves to meet our retirement, housing and healthcare needs. The government also helps to supplement the CPF savings of lower wage workers through schemes such as Workfare and top-ups to Medisave for senior citizens”
I can go on forever about the CPF scheme, but generally, it does have positive overall impact. I’ll say read up all of it here and make your own opinions. This enforced saving generally means that the bulk of Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents have a sustainable savings to their names at retirement age – which is generally considered a good economy measure.
HOW WOULD YOUR RATE THE HAPPINESS OF THE AVERAGE SINGAPOREAN
This is an interesting on to answer….Singapore is a prosperous country, with opportunities abound – if you want it – you can easily live a comfortable life, if that is your measure of happiness. It is also extremely safe at all hours of the day and night – I have walked home at any odd hour without ever being in doubt about my personal safety.
I do feel that generally, the older generation (my mum and dads age group) lament the loss of the “kampong spirit” – a sense of collective community, where everyone looked out for each other and you could walk around with your doors open without any fear.
Singaporeans are a hugely competitive bunch – which does somehow lead to wanting “more” of everything- I am personally guilty of it. I would say the average Singaporean is content in most areas, however, always in search of the “better”, in all areas that can be used as gauge of happiness – salaries, jobs, housing, partner, and way of being.
DOES SINGAPORE HAVE ANY ANCIENT CULTURAL TRADITIONS
Not really – Singapore (though I personally do not consider it cosmopolitan) has an electric mix of the 3 major ethnic majorities – Chinese, Malays and Indians. Each has a variety of traditional practices, however, I would not term any ancient cultural tradition, as most have been modernized.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOP 3 PLACES TO EAT, SHOP AND PARTY/ENTERTAINMENT IN SINGAPORE
Not a specific place, however, it is insanely easy to find good and cheap food pretty much anywhere here – two classic and local favourites would be Steamed Chicken Rice and Cheese Prata with Fish Gravy. I enjoy spice and usually do accompany my dishes with “chili padi” – or birds eye chili.
You could shop at any corner in Singapore – Malls with the almost anything and everything can be found all neighborhoods. Orchard Road is an old favourite for days when I am wanting to have many options and don’t mind the crowd. Tanglin Mall at the end of Orchard do have some lesser known brands that have great craftsmanship. Bali lane (and the nearby streets there) have some funky finds and and artist cove vibe. Mustafa in Little India is a must visit – it is open 24 hours / 365 days, and you could find anything in here a a great price. Little India itself is a great place for a different shopping experience and many temples and eateries along the way too. Marina Bay Sands (MBS) for high end brands and the sights and eateries there.
IS SINGAPORE KNOWN FOR ANYTHING SPECIFIC AND IF SO WHAT IS IT (FOOD, STYLE, LIFESTYLE, PLACES ETC) IS IT REALLY CLEANLINESS AND ARCHITECTURE AND IF SO EXPAND….
Haha – Singapore remains notorious as a “fine” city!
It is equally matched by the cleanness and greenery of this island city state. Singaporeans would also queue for anything they take a liking to – concert tickets, electronics and even the escalator.
We are self-styled foodies and take much pride in laying claim to the best “Chili Crab” compared to the neighbouring countries. I’ll also say we take our public transport rather seriously –
TELL US ABOUT THE CLEANLINESS OF SINGAPORE, AND IS IT TRUE DO YOU GUYS WASH YOUR MONEY… LOL
Wash our money?! That’s the first time I am hearing of this! But our newer notes are now made of plastic – so perfectly doable if you really want to….
When you are making your way from Changi Airport (taxi / car – not the train, as it is underground) – you are welcomed into the country with rows and rows of ever blooming and vibrant bougainvillea and wide open lanes- this gives a really good idea of what to expect.
Streets are kept clean and dustbins are at every 10 or so steps – littering once again carries a heavy fine and I believe that really does help prevent street littering. Food and drinks consumption in pubic transport is not permitted.
ANY BITS ON WHY THERE IS NEAR TO NO ONE HOMELESS IN SINGAPORE, ARE CRIME RATES LOW/ SAFETY
The government and law in Singapore takes a very tough approach to crimes – punishments are hard and fines high. Pretty much everything is regulated and monitored, with plenty of behind-the -scene planning.
The majority of Singaporeans live in HDB’s (Housing Development Boards) – these are high rise, high density buildings (a necessity, as land is scarce) that gained popularity after Singapore gained self-governance and PAP (People Action Party – Singapores main ruling party) won the elections. They then went on to build hundreds of thousands of housing units to replace squatter units. Many schemes are available to make these units affordable, and individuals CPF can be used too.
I strongly believe that this, coupled with the Asian culture of staying with your parents / family does lower homelessness rates. Readily available help exists for lower income groups to aid in housing.
That is not to say that homelessness does not exist – they are usually referred to as “invisible people” of Singapore – coast line (in tents), void decks and benches in Public Parks are common spots where you can see the homeless take shelter.
WHERE DO YOU SEE SINGAPORE IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS
Ten years down I would probably look at everything with a fresh set of eyes – I imagine myself lamenting the loss of many of our older buildings and spaces, which would probably have been replaced by swanky new buildings!
I imagine Singapore would continue to be a country and force to be reckoned with. I imagine the youths would be more politically vocal and the younger generation would be more willing to give non-traditional professions a go.
ANY ADVISE TO KREATORS LOOKING TO VISIT SINGAPORE? HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU THINK ONE NEEDS TO REALLY GET A STRONG GLIMPSE OF A SINGAPORE
Singapore has a tropical climate – humidity remains fairly high year-round – so dress light. It’s great to add on a few of the other South-East Asian countries to your itinerary as they are all so close by! There is no bad time to come, as weather hardly changes (it’s either rain or shine) but the festive period of October to December is my favourite time of the year due to all thee light up and the general buzz in the air. I’ll say 4 N5D over a weekend works great.
ANY FAVORITE HOTELS OR NEIGHBORHOODS ?
It is best to get a something in the city center – accessible to all sights and easy transport. Most hotels are really well maintained and any generic name (eg – Holiday Inn) should suffice.
HOW DO YOU KREATE YOUR PERSONAL HAPPINESS IN SINGAPORE?
This is ever changing and ongoing, but I am currently working to get to a better fitness level, so these days I make myself a nourished meal and have a kick-ass gym session which usually has me bouncing all day long.