The variety of
religions found in Singapore is a direct reflection of the
diversity of races living there. The Chinese are predominantly
followers of Buddhism and Shenism (deity worship), though some are
Malays are overwhelmingly Muslims and most of Singapore's Indians
are Hindus; there is, however, a sizeable proportion of Muslims
and Sikhs amongst the Indian population.
Older Singaporeans are keen on Chinese opera, which is a colourful
mixture of dialogue, music, song and dance. It is an ancient form
of theatre which reached the peak of its popularity during the
Ming Dynasty from the 14th to 17th centuries.
The acting is heavy and stylized, and the music cacophonous to
most Western ears. Street performances are held during important
festivals such as Chinese New Year.
The Lion Dance is a spectacular, acrobatic dance usually performed
during Chinese festivals. Other performing arts include Malay and
Indian dances; liberalization has also meant a noticeable increase
in alternative theatre, but the mainstay of Singaporean culture
must be shopping.
Singapore is the food capital of Asia. Chinese, Indian, Malay,
Indonesian and Western foods are all on offer, and some of the
most tasty creations are those sold from the atmospheric street
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, mangosteen,
durian, jackfruit, pomelo, starfruit, zirzat, buah duku, chiku and