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The majority of Singaporeans celebrate the major festivals associated with their respective religions. The variety of religions found in Singapore is a direct reflection of the variety of races living there. The Chinese are main followers of Buddhism and Shenism (deity worship), though some are Christians. Malays are Muslims and most of Singapore's Indians are Hindus; there is, however, a sizeable proportion of Muslims and Sikhs amongst the Indian population.
Religious tolerance is essential in Singapore. In fact, religions often cross boundaries and some even merge in unusual ways in this modern country. Younger Singaporeans tend to combine a little of the mysteries of the older generation with the realistic world that they know of today.
Religion is still an integral part of the cosmopolitan Singapore. Many of its most interesting buildings are religious, be it old temples, modern churches, or exotic mosques. An understanding of these buildings does play a part in contributing to the appreciation of their art. Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and ancestral worship are combined into a versatile mix in Chinese temples.
Most Buddhists are of the Mahayana school although there are some from the Theravada school. In Singapore, the Buddhist faith is linked with Taoism and the practical doctrine of Confucianism. The Malays in Singapore are Muslims. A few of the Indians are also Muslims, but even more uncommon are the Chinese Muslims.
Islam has a fundamental influence in the lives of those who follow the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad. The religion involves praying five times a day, eating only "halal" food, fasting during Ramadan, and going to Mecca on the Haj (pilgrimage). Halal food means food that has been specially prepared as according to the religion's dietary requirements. When Indian immigrants migrate to Singapore, they brought with them Hinduism. The early temples are still the central points of ceremonies and festivals, which are held throughout the year.
Christian churches were actually established with the arrival of various missionaries after the coming of Sir Stamford Raffles. Together with Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism, Christianity is considered one of the four main religions today. There is quite a large number of Christians in Singapore.
Minority faiths are not forgotten. There are at least two synagogues for the Jews and Sikhs. The Zoroastrians and Jains are also represented in Singapore.
Food of Singapore
Singapore is the food capital of Asia. Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian and Western foods are all on offer, and some of the tastiest creations are those sold from the atmospheric street stalls. Nonya cooking is a local variation on Chinese and Malay food, mixing Chinese ingredients with local spices such as lemongrass and coconut cream. The popular spicy, coconut-based soup laksa is a classic Nonya dish. Singapore is a great place to discover tropical fruits. Some of the more unusual ones on offer include rambutan, mangos teen, durian, jackfruit, pomelo and star fruit.
Furthermore, food and entertainment often go together like hand and glove. Many places offer both excellent food and entertainment options, thus enabling you to enjoy the best of both worlds in one location. Indeed, all these attractions have created a food paradise like no other. Food has become something that is thoroughly appreciated by every Singaporean and visitor.
The cuisine of Singapore is indicative of the ethnic diversity of the culture of Singapore, as a product of centuries of cultural interaction owing to Singapore's strategic location. The food is influenced by the native Malay, the predominant Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and Western traditions (particularly English) since the founding of Singapore by the British in the 19th century. Traces of cuisines such as Thai and Middle Eastern exist in local food culture as well. In Singaporean hawker stores, for example, chefs of Chinese ethnic background influenced by Indian culture might experiment with condiments and ingredients such as tamarind, turmeric and ghee, while a Tamil chef might serve a fried noodle dish.
In Singapore, food is viewed as the great importance to national identity and a combination of cultural thread; Singaporean novel declares eating as a national pastime and food, a national obsession. Food is a frequent topic of conversation among Singaporeans. Religious dietary strictures do exist; Muslims do not eat pork and Hindus do not eat beef, and there is also a significant group of vegetarians. People from different communities often eat together, while being mindful of each other's culture and choose food that is acceptable to all. There are also some halal Chinese restaurants catering to Muslim dietary preference.
Singaporean cuisine has been organized as an attraction for tourists by the Singapore Tourism Board, as a major attraction alongside its shopping. The government organizes the Singapore Food Festival in July to celebrate Singapore's cuisine. The multiculturalism of local food, the ready availability of international cuisine and styles, and their wide range in prices to fit all budgets at all times of the day and year helps create a "food paradise". The dish "Singapore noodles" does not exist in Singapore, as it was invented by chefs who worked and lived in Hong Kong.
The cuisine is similar to the cuisine of Malaysia because of the close historical and cultural between the two countries. While a number of dishes are common to both countries, their preparation different between the countries, according to local taste.
Singapore is a small country with a high population, land is not many resource given up to industrial and housing purposes. Most pfood ingredients are imported, although there is a small group of local farmers who produce some leafy vegetables, fruit, poultry, and fish. Singapore's geographical position connects it to major air and sea transport routes and thus allows it to import a variety of food ingredients from around the world, including costly seafood items such as sashimi from Japan.
Singapore has an urban musical scene, and is a center for rock, punk and other genres in the region. The 1960s produced bands like The Quests, who had hits like "Shanty", "Don't Play That Song", "Jessamine" and "Mr. Rainbow"; as well as other pop-rock bands including The Thunderbirds, The Trailers, The Western Union Band, October Cherries and The Silver Strings. Folk music includes the ethnic Chinese, Malay and Tamil sounds.