From a distance Singapore seems a professional utopia – a business state determined to depart from its economically unstable neighbours. Geographically insolvent my preconceived conceptions of the city-state are sheltered and bleak, my only insights into Singaporean cultural endeavours are those based on hard work and professionalism. Although this is not my first trip abroad, culturally and spiritually I am virgin; the Singapore tour and my first real display of independence potentially offer to change this.
Surprisingly, Singapore upholds harsh and perplexing penalties for a country permeated by Eurocentric influences. Strictness regarding drug possession and use is a judicial landmark for the countries geographical existence. Singapore’s neighbours, uphold traits of the state’s preventative measures to a lesser success, which prompts sceptically of the corporal punishment involved. In this sense, Singapore is very much involved with its Asian roots.
Regardless, the city renown for being the world’s cleanest promises beauty in its landscape and architecture. However, being aware of the state’s governmental control and business ethic I find myself unable to envision anything other than an ordered concrete jungle – a misconception I hope will be corrected throughout the tour. As for the local life and quintessential Singaporean experiences, I can only speculate. Hypothetically, the city will be functional, friendly, practical and punctual – although I am unable to anticipate other aspects of the society. Ideally, the tour will allow me to develop a sense of culturalism and social awareness and on idea of life beyond Latrobe’s 5pm Nanotechnology seminars in the Szental.
– Trey Guest