5 Great Ways To Quickly Get Over The Culture Shock In Singapore

When was the last time you complained about Singapore? Yes, Singapore is said to be a “Western influenced” city but in the end, it is a place in South East Asia and you will find many unusual things here, that do not fit in your healthy picture of how some things should be.

Especially if you decide to live here, the “culture shock” may come over you very quick, although many don’t really realize they have it.

1. Make Local Friends

Many things that actually “are” the culture shock, simply portrait weird customs, food or behavior, we are simply not used to. You even meet that situation when going on vacation in London, while origin Down Under. The moment you leave your country, you aren’t home anymore, realize that! (Singapore Is Really Strange – Can You Explain Please?)

And if I had realized my own culture shock earlier, I hadn’t spent my first 3 month in that typical “expat enclave” complaining about the strange Singapore.

So my number one tip is to go out, search contact and make friends with locals. It opens up great opportunities for wild and interesting discussions, you can get things explained directly and it’s heart warming to actually also see what the other side thinks about us! (Asia And The West – The Image We leave Behind)

Behavior which seems rude to you, may not be intended as rude. Polite customs are different for each culture. And this way you will learn and understand what is going on around you, and besides, wonderful friendships can develop, that will make you not wanting to leave the little red dot soon again!

2. Don’t Isolate But Keep A Piece of Home

The worst thing you can do is staying in your little group of expats, ranting about the local issues and ordering your Pizza home every evening.

I promise you wont get over the culture shock ever. You have to go out and look around you to understand the new place you are living in. To understand how it works and why it is the way it is.

Do baby steps, and once the feeling of being a stranger gets too overwhelming, go home and think about what you miss most and what was the most enjoyable thing for you in your home country? (How To Prepare best For Your Move To Singapore)

Watch a German movie, buy an Argentinian steak, buy a bottle of good French whine. While meeting your desires, you mood will go up and you will be ready for the next “dose of Singapore”.

Singapore is very multi-ethnic and cultural based, expatriates are normally treated as a part of the family, there is no reason not to join “the community”.

3. Take It Easy And Have A Sense Of Humor

It’s probably what helped me most. Some say I have a weird sense of humor anyway, but it’s hard to top the Singaporean level of humorist weirdness. (The 6 Most Weird Campaigns Seen In Singapore)

So when I go out and that little auntie stares at me for the whole elevator ride, I take it easy, smile at her and ask if you can help her carrying that bag upstairs, laugh about the misunderstandings and smile when you get a mixed Ginger-Celery juice instead of the ordered Pineapple one.

Singaporeans are very easy going people and a smile hasn’t hurt anyone so far.

4. Look On The Bright Side

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‘)); ?> Take a walk along the East Coast Park or through the Bukit Tima nature Reserve, and then be happy to be here, in the tropics, with warm climate, all the advantages one can have here and most probably half way around the world, with great holiday places to go around you and many experiences along the way, you will later never want to miss again. (The 5 Most Beautiful Nature Walks In Singapore)

You made it this far, now don’t drown in your sorrow about.. making it so far. Of course things are different, you are in Asia now, but every time you see, feel, smell or experience something you are not used to, think about the nice things on the other hand. Its worth it!

5. Stay Healthy

The basis for making your integration and life in Singapore as nice as possible, is your own well being. If you suffer of stomach or headache all the time, you wont be able to start exploring the island. (How To Avoid getting Sick In Singapore)

You wont be able o have a nice diner with your friends at the local Hawker Center or go for a hike in the Nature reserves.

You have to try to continue eating healthy things, minerals, vitamins, don’t have that tempting Chicken Rice or Murtabak every day, its cheap, I know, but it wont make you feel better either.

What’s Your Tip To Deal With The Culture Shock?

You had chicken Feet the first day, and Durian for desert, you walked over to JB and back the first morning, let us know how you survived the culture shock, and what your tricks and tips are to make it happen as quick as possible!



ZQ @ Best Travel Blog

One more tip perhaps, try local food fare? Singapore being a food paradise, once you get hold of the few chili crabs and meepok, you will forget about the culture shock and accept the good food we have to offer!

Just my thought


Hi mate,

To start off want to say I love your blogs on ‘Sillypore’ stuffs very much. I had my ‘moments’ during my less-than-2 years-stay in Sillypore. I have been living and working in London, UK for nearly a decade. Oh yes, I am an Oriental (not your stereotypical Asian ‘Chink’). But, I have adapted so well during my time spent back in London, meeting friends and have learned the best of British, the mannerism and of course beer, not lager mind you ;-)

Anyway, I ‘bumped’ into lots of social and cultural issues, since my first day here in Sillypore. Locals do not seem to understand how to apologize which they tend to muffled ‘sorry’ exessively on every occasion. At certain times, ‘excuse me’ is a more appropriate phrase. Also, locals tend to ‘stare’ at you as if you are some kind of alien ( I am a yellow so why look at me like I am some kind of a freak!!) And I had been told not to speak like a Brit in an argument of sharing a HDB unit!! At the end I gave up and live on my own. What a frickin rasicts comment he has made?! Anyway, these are just a few of them…..it has not been easy on me but I choose to ignore all these silly issues.

How do I get over it?! Well, NEVER!! But, there is one thing and that is time …. ( how cheesy is that! But it DOES wonders) Ignorance CAN be a bliss. These days, after staying and working for more than a year I have managed get over the hump by ignoring these problems and say to myself whatever, it’s like that lah and the infamous Singlish what to do?! Frankly speaking I still do not mix with the locals a lot. How do I past my time…well get some exercise in the gym, take up lessons, reading, moseying at the malls ( checking the locals’ behaviour. What and how to ‘avoid’ them. I am still trying to figure out why they do some weird things…and so on ) and play online games on my PS 3 (how pathetic). Oh and of course having few pints sharing few local jokes with my Ang Mo colleagues. That’s how and I am still trying to get rid or subdue the shock :-)

Honestly, my advise is simple try to understand their flaws, accept it and get along with it. Be forgiving (you know what I mean)

Finally, this if for ZQ. I believe you have ‘rojak’ or confused with the facts between food and culture shock. There is no relationship between them at all. Food is how it was prepared to serve and tantalise your taste buds. Culture is something people pass on, learn, adapt and evolve for the better. I like food here but i still have culture shock. Get it right, mate.


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