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16 things Singaporeans are weirdly proud about

We're proud of our hawkers, heritage and arts scene – but these are the things we're weirdly smug about

Written by
Delfina Utomo
Dewi Nurjuwita
Mingli Seet

We already know how great our hawker food is, the restaurant scene is exciting and we're mighty proud of our culture and heritage. That aside, sometimes it's the weirdest and strangest things that Singaporeans get smug about. From putting the McSpicy on a pedestal to happily exchanging NS ghost stories years after ORD, here are some of the things we hold very dearly. 

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Coffee under $2

To others, being able to get coffee under $2 easily is almost unthinkable. But for us Singaporeans, you’ll be able to find kopi for under $2 at any kopitiam (coffee shop). However, be wary of shouting aunties.


Sure, most countries have train systems too. However, our MRT intervals are never more than 5 minutes, and if we can say so ourselves, the cabins and seats are generally clean and the probability of having a crazy person on board is relatively low.


Being able to chope seats with tissue paper

If you’re Singaporean, you know how easy it is to claim your seats at a hawker centre. There is no doubt that this self-invented system is flawless.

Singapore Airlines

With the airline’s pretty uniforms and impeccable smiles of the crew, Singapore Airlines is constantly achieving the title as one of the top airlines in the world. What’s there not to be proud of? 


Ice cream uncle

Hearing the ice cream uncle’s bell means cheap, flavoured ice cream sandwiched between fragrant rainbow bread. And not going to lie, seeing foreigners queue up to have a taste of that goodness makes us weirdly proud. 

Chilli crab

Chilli crab seems to easily blow the minds of foreigners. We easily understand why, after all, who can resist the combination of fried mantou dipped in the signature sweet-spicy gravy? This dish definitely deserves to come up as one of the highly recommended food choices when asked, “What’s good to eat in Singapore?”



Sure, other McDonald's branches around the world may have its own special creation but for us, the McSpicy is truly the jewel of Singapore.

Phua Chu Kang

The television series revolving around a contractor who claims to be "best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam" may have ended in 2007, but the people of Singapore still remember him fondly. He even came out of retirement to do a little ditty on yet another virus we want to minus. Phua Chu Kang lives.


Changi Airport & Jewel

Changi Airport may no longer be the world's best airport – but we love it all the same. There's no other country in the world where you see people hanging out at the airport even when they're not travelling. After all, we get to brag about having a  lush rainforest in Jewel Changi, complete with the world's tallest indoor waterfall. 

The Singapore passport

Our airport isn't the only thing we're weirdly proud of. We also have the second strongest passport in the world – right behind Japan. This is according to The Henley Passport Index, which ranks the strength of passports around the world. And now that we may soon be able to travel, we can soon be wandering around the world, hand in hand with our beloved passports forevermore. 



Superstitions play a big part in everyday life – things like how the numbers four and eight symbolise death and luck respectively and that when you smell jasmine and frangipani at midnight, something sinister is coming your way. Singaporeans love sharing NS ghost stories and haunted school toilet stories more than anything – and that's not going to change.

Late night activities

When it comes to staying up – and out – late, Singaporeans are experts. Whether it's late-night prata, dim sum, hot pot or even karaoke (though maybe not anytime soon), we all have our favourites and are proud to challenge anyone who disagrees.



Though invented in Australia, we've truly made Milo part of our own culture. There's Milo Dinosaur to go with late-night prata, ice Milo to cool down a McSpicy meal and also the iconic Milo van that turns up at sports events – we practically own the brand.


It's durian season all year round and we're mighty proud about that. There's the standard fare of durian ice cream and puffs but there is also durian pizza, hot pot and fried rice. Every year it seems to get funkier and funkier – this year, it seems like durian Basque burnt cheesecake is trending.


Local memes

Contrary to what many say, Singaporeans do have a sense of humour. Through tough times, we've bonded through humour. We did that during the circuit breaker, we did it again during elections season. We can be quite the self-deprecating and sarcastic bunch. After all, if you can't laugh at yourself, then you can't laugh at someone else.


It's one of the few things that is really ours so don't try to steal from us, can?

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