For the trivia-lovers out there!
When tourists think of Singapore, they describe this Island City with several words including clean, modern, exciting, structured and perhaps, paradise.
But one word I seldom hear to describe Singapore is weird.
And yet, there are oddities in the culture and history of Singapore (as in most countries) that peak my interests.
Here are 7 weird facts about Singapore that you might not have already known
1. Nudity No-No
For those care-free individuals who might not think twice about walking around in your birthday suit in the privacy of your own home, think again.
2. And the 2006 Darwin Award goes to...
The annual Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek award given to those who ensure the long-term survival of the human race by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion.
And in 2006, one of the Darwin Awards was given posthumously to a student from China in Singapore who rocked and roll in his dorm and fell out of the 3rd-floor window to (unfortunately) his death. His enthusiastic mimicking of a rock guitarists proved fatal when Li Xiao Meng (age 16) rocked and rolled to eternity.
3. Singapore Body Parts
These are medical terms to describe medication conditions. Seriously.
Singapore Flap: A pioneering medical procedure to create a vagina for female patients who weren't born with one. First performed in Singapore's General Hospital in 1991.
Singapore Foot: A skin condition doctors call Tinea pedis - or athlete' foot. Fungus between toes causing dry skin, inflammation, itching and blisters. Most probably due to Singapore's humid weather creating conducive environment for fungal growth. Yuck.
Singapore Ear: Ear infection medically known as Otitis externa. Excessive moisture carrying bacteria to the ear. Swimmers in hotter, humid climates like Singapore contract this easily. Symptoms include burning sensation and itchiness to the ear.
4. We Are Not Alone
I was surprised to find that Singapore isn't the only place named Singapore.
In the mid-1800s, there was a town in Michigan named Singapore too. Nicknamed Michigan's most famous ghost town, Singapore in Michigan was founded in 1836 by Oshea Wilder, a New York land speculator (someone who buys land with the intention of selling it for profit).
Now, it lies buried beneath the sand dunes of the Lake Michigan shoreline in Saugatuck Township.
Also, there is a small town in South Africa called Singapore and is located in the Limpopo province. Additionally, two settlements in India are called Singapur.
5. One Movie You'll Never Watch in Singapore
Singapore's Board of Censors limits the range of films allowed to be shown in Singapore. The Board functions as a filter to protect Singapore's citizens from obscenity, graphic violence and inappropriate political and religious content.
In 1971, A Clockwork Orangewas a film banned for over 30 years in Singapore. In 2006, an appeal was submitted to release the film from its ban - but to no avail.
6. Strike These Off the Gift List
For Your Chinese friend:
- No hankies: A handkerchief is associated with a tough life of frustration, sadness and hardship. Ditch the handkerchief.
- No knives: Giving a knife as a gift to your Chinese pal is just plain bad luck. It might symbolize that you intend to cut off or terminate your friendship. Ditch the knife.
- No clocks: The clock is another unlucky symbol. It's a reminder to your friend that his life-clock is ticking and death is inevitable. Ditch the clock.
For Your Malay friend:
- Pigs and dogs are animals not to be tolerated in Islam. Avoid giving any gifts that depict either of these animals, even photos.
- Muslims are prohibited from partaking in alcohol. So, keep the 6-pack of beer to yourself. Perfumes contain alcohol too. So those shouldn't be on your gift list either.
For Your Indian friend:
- You know those pretty garlands Hawaiians make called leis? Well, make sure they don't contain frangipani flowers if you're intending to make one for your Indian pal. Frangipani flowers are only used for funeral wreaths in Indian funerals.
- No beef: Many Indians are Hindus, and cows have a sacred place in their religion. Think twice if you're buying a wallet or purse for your Indian friend. Any leather products should stay away from your gift list.
7. Always in a Hurry
According to CNN, a 2007 study conducted in 32 countries showed that people who live in Singapore are often in the greatest hurry. Here are the top 5 cities with the fastest-walking people:
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Madrid, Spain
- Guangzhou, China
- Dublin, Ireland