A recent global poll said Singapore is the least emotional country while Philippines, the most emotional country.
When asked by BBC’s Dan Damon yesterday on the reasons, Christine Lim, distinguished Singaporean author, without any reserve at all, said the poll measures public emotions where Singaporeans do badly in because they are reserve.She claims that it is due to the deep Confucianist beliefs and the government being proud of its austere measures that had a trickle down effect to the public. But, in private gatherings or national events, “they’re fun”.
BBC’s Dan Damon then asked Christine, “But, the thing is, are Singaporeans happy?”
She said generally yes because of the “high standard of living”, but last elections showed that they are less happy. She continued with, but if the same poll is to be conducted three years hence, they’ll show more happiness.
On the Philippines’ side, are they happier due to the Spanish influence? Maybe because of the influx of dance and culture, but it probably is due to its geography. Philippines is a country with annual natural disasters – droughts, floods, typhoons. It probably influenced its people to live life as if tomorrow might never come, to live for the day, and to get the most from being alive.
Now, I don’t side anybody but since I’m here in Singapore, I know it of it a little better than the Philippines to write about it. I think that the Confucian answer doesn’t hold. South Koreans and Japanese people are much more conventional with stronger Confucianism beliefs. Their patriarchal society and much more of its strict traditions are still practiced today. On the other hand, in Singapore, pretty much of the obvious parts of a Confucian belief are gone due to rapid westernisation and globalisation. And, about a higher standard of living. All right, I’ll give it that because of its low crime rate and top-notch medical care.
Well, I was surprised by the survey’s findings. I thought the Scandinavians would have been named the least emotional because they are known to be extremely reserve in public. It made me wonder what does this survey measure, actually? Does it measure only public reservedness, or when most Singaporeans said they “felt nothing”, is it an indicator of a more sinister societal problem that somehow made living in Singapore dull, dreary and empty enough to make its residents become walking zombies, just living to get through the machinations of life, to say “I feel nothing” on the survey?
- Singapore is world’s least emotional country, poll finds (guardian.co.uk)
- Singapore, least emotional country – Part 2 (surfingbutterfly.wordpress.com)
- Singaporeans react to ’emotionless’ tag (rappler.com)
- S’pore most emotionless society in world: Survey (todayonline.com)
- In an Emotional World, Singapore is Comfortably Numb (businessweek.com)