Культурные особенности англоговорящей страны (Сингапур)
History of Singapore
Culture of Singapore
1.Gretchen Liu, Singapore: A Pictorial History 1819-2000 - Singapore: Archipelago Press совместно с National Heritage Board, 1999. 400 стр.
2.Jan Uhde и Yvonne Ng Uhde, Latent Images: Film in Singapore - Singapore: Oxford University Press совместно с Ngee Ann Polytechnic, 2000, 255 стр.
3.Lee Kuan Yew, From Third World to First: The Singapore Story 1965-2000 - Singapore: Times Editions & Singapore Press Holdings, 2000. 778 стр.
4.Nicolette Yeo, Journey through Singapore: A Pictorial Guide to the Lion City - Singapore: Times Editions, 2003, 71 стр.
5.No Other City: The Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry - Singapore: Ethos Books, 2000, 102 стр.
6.Robert Powell, Singapore: Architecture Of A Global City - Singapore: Archipelago Press, 2000. 253 стр.
7.Singapore's 100 Histori
Показать всеc Places - Singapore: Archipelago Press совместно с National Heritage Board, 2002. 142 стр. Скрыть
Initially, Raffles acquired the use of Singapore after agreeing to make annual payments to Sultan Hussein and the Temenggong. In 1824, in exchange for a cash buyout, Singapore officially came under the ownership of the British East India Company (3).
Two years later, the island, along with Malacca and Penang, became part of the British Straits Settlements. The Straits Settlements were controlled by the East India Company in Calcutta, but administered from Singapore.
Raffles initiated a town plan for central Singapore. The plan included levelling one hill to set up a commercial centre (today's Shenton Way) and constructing government buildings around Fort Canning. Raffles, and the first Resident of Singapore, William Farquhar, gradually moulded Singapore from a jungle-ridden backwater wit
Показать всеh poor sanitation and little modern infrastructure to a successful entreport and colonial outpost. Hospitals, schools and a water supply system were built. Soon, boatloads of immigrants from India and China were coming to Singapore, in search of prosperity and a better life.
Economically, Singapore went from strength to strength throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. But in the 1940s and 1950s , political storm clouds were gathering over Asia. Japan's quest for more power, land and natural resources saw it invading China in 1931 and 1937, a move which was opposed by the Chinese immigrants in Singapore (1).
On February 15, 1942, with Europe in the throes of World War II, the Japanese sprung a quick and successful invasion of Singapore. The British, who had prepared for an invasion from the sea in the south, were taken by surprise by the Japanese penetration via the jungles of Thailand and Malaysia, on bicycle. The British surrender was quick, and many of the Europeans were herded to the Padang, then sent to Changi Prison.
The next few years were a dark period in Singapore's history. The Japanese treated the Chinese with particular suspicion, and many of them were tortured, incarcerated and killed, often on the flimsiest of pretexts. As the war progressed, food and other essential supplies ran low, and malnutrition and disease were widespread.
By 1945 however, it was clear that Japan, and its allies, were losing the war. The Japanese surrendered Singapore on August 14, 1945. The British returned, but their right to rule was now in question.
After the war, the British grouped the peninsula Malay states and the British-controlled states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo under the Malayan Union. Singapore, which unlike the other states had a predominantly Chinese population, was left out of this union.
Rebuilding itself after the war was a slow and difficult task. In the post-war climate of poverty, unemployment and lack of idealogical direction, communist groups such as the Malayan Communist Party and the Communist General Labour Union, and the socialist Malayan Democratic Union, gained popular support.
In the late 1940s, the Communists launched a campaign of armed struggle in Malaya, prompting the British to declare a state of emergency where the Communists were outlawed. Twelve years of guerilla warfare from the Communists on the peninsula ensued, and left-wing politics was gradually snuffed out in the Malay states and Singapore.
In the 1950s, a rising star emerged in the local political scene -- Lee Kuan Yew, who headed the socialist People's Action Party (PAP).
Lee, a shrewd politician, is a third-generation Straits-born Chinese with a law degree from Cambridge University. When the PAP won a majority of seats in the newly-formed Legislative Assembly in 1959, he became the first Singaporean to hold the title of prime minister.
In 1963, the British declared Singapore, the Malay states and Sabah and Sarawak as one independent nation -- Malaysia. But Singapore's membership in this union lasted only two years. In 1965, it was booted out of the federation, owing to disagreements on several fronts including racial issues.
Left on its own, Singapore embarked on an ambitious industrialisation plan -- building public housing, roads and modernising its port and telecommunications infrastructure. English was chosen as the official language, to facilitate communication between the different races, and to put the nation in the forefront of commerce.
In about 25 years, by the late 1980s, Singapore had moved from a fragile and small country with no natural resources to a newly industrialised economy.
Singapore today is a thriving centre of commerce and industry, with intense economic growth. Singapore is not merely a single island, but is actually the main island surrounded by at least 60 islets. Measuring a compact 640km, its size really belies its capacity for growth (1).
Singapore is now a rapidly developing manufacturing base. The Republic, however, still remains the busiest port the world over with more than 600 shipping lines herding super tankers, container ships, passenger liners, fishing vessels and even wooden lighters in its waters.
It is also a major oil refining and distribution centre, and an important supplier of electronic components. Its rich history as a popular harbour has turned it into a leader in shipbuilding, maintenance and repair. Singapore has also become one of Asia's most important financial centres, housing at least 130 banks.
Both business and pleasure are made more accessible and smooth flowing by the Republic's excellent and up-to-date communications network, linking it to the rest of the world through satellite and round the clock telegraph and telephone systems. Now fully grown into an Asian Dragon, Singapore is, somehow unsurprisingly, a leading destination for both business and pleasure.
Culture of Singapore
Despite its ultra-modern, futuristic facade, the influences of pan-Asian cultures and religions remain entwined in Singapore. Throughout the year, a constant stream of festivals and celebrations in the streets and temples reflects the diverse beliefs and backgrounds of this multicultural society, comprising of Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs. The Chinese calendar dominates and the Chinese New Year (in February) is the biggest festival of all, where pretty much everything shuts down for several days (1).
The city's art scene reflects the flavours of the region, with Malay, Chinese and Indian performances, art and music. Mainstream performing arts are also well represented, culminating in the Singapore Arts Festival held every June, which attracts international dance, theatre and music groups. Performers from overseas tend to be heavily oversubscribed and tickets should be booked well in advance; local performers are easier to see. Popular events also include local productions of Broadway hits. Free musical and theatrical performances are held regularly in local parks.
Singapore is a good place to view and purchase local and Asian art and its cultural diversity means that local artists cover a broad palette of themes and styles. The city now hosts the annual Art Singapore Fair each October for international collectors and artists. Among the notable galleries is the Singapore Art Museum specialises in contemporary works and installations. Both Gajah Gallery) at the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, and Red Sea Gallery show exciting contemporary works from Southeast Asian artists. A full list of independent and commercial art galleries is available from the Art Galleries Association and from their member galleries.
The customs and festivals of the different ethnic groups in Singapore highlight the nation's rich cultural heritage. Singapore's people are largely descendants of immigrants from the Malay Peninsula, China, the Indian sub-continent and Sri Lanka. They have gradually acquired a distinct identity as Singaporeans while still retaining their traditional practices, customs and festivals.
The official languages are Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English. Malay is the national language and English is the language of administration. Mandarin is being increasingly used among the Chinese in place of the main Chinese dialects Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, Hainanese and Foochow. Besides Tamil, some of the other languages spoken by the Indians are Malayalam, Punjabi, Telegu, Hindi and Bengali (4).
The general literacy rate of residents aged 15 years and over was 93 per cent in 2000. More residents were also multi-lingual. Among the literate population, 56 per cent were literate in two or more languages.
Advance data from the Population of Census 2009 show that the religious composition of adult Singaporean residents remained relatively stable over the last ten years.
Buddhism and Taoism, which were traditional Chinese religions, jointly accounted for 51 per cent of the resident population aged 15 years and above in 2009 compared with 54 per cent in 1990. The main shift had been from Taoism to Buddhism among the Chinese. The proportion of Muslims and Hindus remained relatively unchanged at 15 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
The shift towards Christianity continued but the increase in proportion of Christians was very gradual - from 10 per cent in 1980 to 13 per cent in 1990 and 15 per cent in 2000. The increase was among the better-educated Chinese who were more inclined towards Christianity.
A potpourri of colourful festivals is celebrated in multi-racial Singapore throughout the year (6).
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Every January and February, the Lunar New Year is celebrated. It is the major event in the Chinese calendar. Red pieces of paper, bearing good wishes in Chinese calligraphy, are pasted on doors and walls. The main celebration revolves around the reunion dinner on the eve and visits to relatives and friends on the first two days. After the reunion dinner, parents and other relatives distribute 'hong bao' (red packets containing money) to the family's unmarried children as a gesture of good fortune. Скрыть
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