Etiquette in Singapore

Unless you are deviant and you want to spend time in prison, you should seriously consider etiquettes in Singapore. Etiquette refers to the conduct or procedure prescribed by the society or the law. Etiquette should be observed and practiced in social life. Here in Singapore, there is a proper conduct or procedure that should be practiced by citizens and guests. The etiquettes serve as rules. The government simply wants all people to feel wonderful and safe.


Do not be frightened with the rules because it is for your own good. Rules are set not to confine you but they are set to protect you and ensure you that you will enjoy your life here. It is good if you know the rules but if you forgot some, you can consider this refresher:

  • Tipping: Other countries enjoy tipping but not here in Singapore. You are not asked to tip because it is not needed. In fact, the government discourages it because in the first place, you already paid for everything in the service charge.
  • Gift giving: Singapore is famous for its multi-ethnic background. Gift giving is not bad but when you give gifts, keep in mind the ethnic background of the person. For example, if you want to give gifts to a Chinese, you can consider everything except clocks, handkerchiefs and many others.
  • Gestures: Singaporeans do not prefer PDAs (Public Display of Affection). It is impolite to point your index finger at someone. Do not attempt to touch someone’s forehead because it is sacred. Singaporeans are also clean. Do not simply show your feet and use it to point.


  • Greetings: When you greet someone, it is expected that you extend your hand as a greeting. If you meet an elder Chinese, a slight bow should be considered. Greeting others is considered polite.
  • Remove shoes: When you are invited into a home, do not forget to take off your shoes. It is customary here in Singapore to remove your shoes upon entering one’s house. You should also practice this when you visit temples and mosque.
  • Avoid littering: Singapore law clearly discourages littering. You should always throw your garbage in the proper bin so you will not be reprimanded. If you are caught, you will be fined. In relation to littering, remember that chewing gums can get you arrested.

The things mentioned above are basics but sometimes people often forget it. Rules are set for a reason. If you want to live in a wonderful environment, you should follow the rules. If you let other people know, things will be better.