11 ways to tell you were raised by Singaporean parents

11 ways to tell you were raised by Singaporean parents

There's nothing more unique to the Singaporean identity than knowing that you grew up in a household of pure kiasu-ism!

Parenting styles of the past and today are different, we weren't raised in the generation of iPads and iPhones, and we found joy in playing games such as five stones or even hopscotch. Being raised in Singapore meant having kiasu-ism and kiasi-ism inbred in us, and the teachings of our parents had stuck with us even after years.

Here are 11 ways to tell that you were raised by Singaporean parents:

#1 Everyone you knew was an ‘uncle’ or ‘auntie’


In Singapore, everyone is related because our parents taught us to call strangers ‘auntie’ or ‘uncle’. Taxi uncle, fishball auntie, hokkien mee uncle, Yakult auntie, and many others.

#2 Falling sick and getting reprimanded


“Mummy, I’m not feeling too well. I think I’m having a fever.”
“See la, see la! Everyday go out and play, no wonder you fall sick!”

#3 Patting the melons at the grocery store to test for freshness


Ask any mum out there how to choose a watermelon that’s ripe, and she will recommend you to pick it up, and pat on them to ‘hear’ for freshness.

#4 Taking soap and other toiletries from hotels


Because “Free what!”

#5 Threatening to sell you away whenever you misbehave


When it wasn’t possible to discipline you, your parents would always tell you, “If you’re going to continue being this naughty, I will sell you away to the garang guni man!”

Click on the next page to find out what the other 6 are!

#6 You’re able to speak your dialect


Coming from a Singaporean home usually means that you are able to speak the dialect that your grandparents speak in. You could be nagged at by your mum in English, and nagged at by your grandmother in Hokkien. Worst of all, you understand them all.

#7 Feeling frustrated whenever the news comes on at 9.30pm


I was watching my Channel 8 drama, hello???

#8 Hiding your report card


“If you don’t score well, you don’t come home tonight!”

#9 Bringing you to the market to choose the colour of the cane


How sadistic was this? It’s bad enough that we were getting caned whenever we misbehaved, but our parents had also always given us the choice of choosing the colour of our canes. It’s like looking at the devil right in the eye.

#10 Talking back results in a slap to the face


In those days, we could never talk back to our parents, even if they asked a question!

“Tell me why you hit your mei mei?”
“Because I-“
“*slaps you* I didn’t say you could talk back!”

#11 Ganging up with your teachers


Ah, the good ol’ days of parent teacher meets. It was the perfect opportunity for your teachers to complain to your parents about your behaviour in school, and your parents would side with your teachers instead of you. This usually means you'll end up in more trouble than you already are. 

What are some other things that your parents had done to you? Share with us in the comments below!

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Written by

Claudia Chia

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