British Man First Found Singapore ‘Too Organised’ But Now Proudly Calls It Home
Though we may have preconceived opinions about certain places, one can’t truly know a country till they start living in it and experiencing the culture for themselves. A British man who initially found Singapore “too organised” and constrictive seemingly had a complete change of impression after living here for 33 years.
In a recent interview, the man praised Singapore for its pragmatism and how it adapted over the years to fit the changing needs of its people.
Despite not being a Singapore citizen, he said he is proud to call Singapore home.
British man says he enjoys safety in Singapore
74-year-old Dr Philip Merry recently sat down for an interview with Max Chernov, who runs a YouTube channel aimed at bridging divides between locals and foreigners in Singapore, Malaysia, and India.
Dr Merry, who works as a consultant, said he had reservations about living in Singapore before he moved here.
My impression before I came was that it was too organised, too neat and tidy, and too many rules.
But his impression changed after making the move.
Dr Merry pointed out how he enjoys the safety here in Singapore. He also appreciates the fact that he can wear T-shirts and shorts all year round.
Additionally, he pointed out that Singaporeans are much more group-oriented, as compared to Western countries where people are more individualistic.
For some context, this is how Singapore fared in the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions in comparison with the US and the UK.
Despite initially being apprehensive about moving to Singapore, Dr Merry said his concerns about “constrictions” were allayed when he found out how easy it was to do business here.
This was consistent from 1991 — when he started his business — till today.
Praises Singapore for pragmatism & adaptation over the years
Dr Merry also praised Singapore for its pragmatism and ability to adapt.
He pointed out how Singapore has increasingly embraced diversity and multiculturalism over the years.
Even though Dr Merry felt that Singapore is still a work in progress, he applauded the country’s no-nonsense approach towards racial discrimination,
I’m really proud to tell people I’m from Singapore because it does that (takes people to task for racial discrimination), and I think a lot of nations could actually take that lesson too.
Furthermore, he noted that the nation has been able to adapt itself to ensure that citizens live comfortably.
Finds people in Singapore friendlier & more personable
Being a UK citizen, it’s only natural for the country to have a special place in Dr Merry’s heart.
But when he returns to London — a place he called home for a decade — he claims that he can’t help but feel a sense of relief that he doesn’t live there anymore.
The Briton alleges that unlike the “hostile culture” he perceives in the UK, people in Singapore are friendlier and more personable.
Dr Merry also said he much prefers politics in Singapore that involve “mature individuals”.
The 73-year-old, however, admitted that there are still aspects of the UK that he enjoys, such as football and its natural scenery.
British man hopes Singapore will ensure everybody’s voices are heard
After explaining his fondness for Singapore, Dr Merry also identified some challenges that Singapore faces moving forward.
One such challenge is the need to continue ensuring that everybody’s voices are heard.
Another obstacle he foresees is the overwhelming political control that some may find unsettling.
Best to experience a country for yourself before arriving at a conclusion
Thoughts and opinions about a country will almost always be divided.
That’s perhaps why it’s best to conclude only after experiencing the country and its culture first-hand.
And while that will still be subjective, at least it’s something we can justify ourselves.
In Dr Merry’s case, we’re glad that he enjoyed life in Singapore and is proud to call it home.
Check out the interview here if you’d like to hear what else he has to say about Singapore.
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Featured image adapted from Max Chernov on YouTube.
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