Whether you live in a bungalow in Bukit Timah, a condo in Tampines or a HDB flat in Jurong, there is sure to be something in your neighbourhood that is special and distinct to you. As a tribute to 50 years of nation building, here is a list of 39 iconic sights and sounds that make Singapore home.

1. HDB Blocks

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Only in Singapore can you find these HDB blocks that come in every colour of the rainbow.

2. Zouk

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Our iconic nightclub Zouk has become synonymous with its neighbourhood, Jiak Kim Street.

3. Kopitiam

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Craving for roti prata, mee pok, or a cup of kopi? You have everything under one roof.

4. Community Centres

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The only place where you get to see aunties channeling their inner Beyoncé during Zumba sessions.

5. MRT System

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Our love-hate relationship with the MRT system that connects us to every neighbourhood.

6. Street Names

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We love our fruits so much that we named our roads after them. (Mangis means Mangosteen in Malay). Is there a Durian Street?

7. Sentosa Cove

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Where Tony Stark lives.

8. Superstitious Singaporeans

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When fengshui becomes our number one consideration during renovation.

9. Matilda House

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Who doesn’t know about the history of the Matilda house? Creepy…

10. Reservoirs

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There are 17 reservoirs in Singapore. Kiasu? Nah. More like kiasi, survival mode on!

11. Kiasu Parents

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Have to live within 2km radius of an elite school? Bring it on!

12. Black and White Bungalows

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The grand dame of Singapore bungalows.

13. The Kampong Spirit

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The camaraderie that came with a kampong spirit.

14. Coastline

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Whether you are living in East or West coast, you can always find cargo ships resting along our coastline.

15. Last Kampong

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Kampong Lorong Buangkok is our last surviving kampong in Singapore.

16. Heartland Malls

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Wherever you live, there’s bound to be a heartland mall located near you whether it’s Jurong or Tampines Mall.

17. The Pinnacle

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Our grandest HDB achievement – The [email protected] – is the world’s tallest public housing building.

18. How to Train Your Dragon

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The only place where you can claim that you travelled through the belly of a dragon.

19. All Hung Up

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Only in Singapore will you see underwear openly flapping in the wind like victory flags.

20. Mama Shop

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Our beloved mama shops where Indian uncles in sarongs sell our favourite tidbits at the void deck.

21. Public Libraries

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We are a nation of bookworms! There is almost one public library in every neighbourhood.

22. National Day

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We love our country and we’re not afraid to show it. Majulah Singapura!

23. EIP

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Our Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) helps you make friends of different races living in the same block.

24. BTO

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“Dear, shall we get a BTO?” is a question that sends many Singaporeans blushing as it is one of the greatest local proclamations of love. Those in their 20s and 30s will know what we mean.

25. Multipurpose Void Deck

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From hosting exuberant Malay weddings to solemn Chinese funerals, void decks bring people together.

26. Abbreviations

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EC – Executive Condominium, BTO – Build-to-Order, DBSS – Design, Build and Sell Scheme, HDB – House Development Board. The never-ending list of acronyms.

27. CPF

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We don’t know many other countries with schemes in place that make saving compulsory to help pay for a house.

28. Bird Singing Corners

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You’re missing out if your neighbourhood lacks a birdcage-touting uncle who boasts about the five-octave vocal range of his prize-winning mata puteh.

29. Residential Cat

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Our neighbourhoods will not be the same without them roaming the void decks with their nonchalant expressions.

30. Karung Guni

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The blast of a horn followed by the throaty bellow of “Karung Guni!” is familiar to anyone growing up in a HDB flat.

31. Ice Cream Man

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Do you remember the excitement you felt when the ice cream man rang his bell?

32. Local Barber

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Things you see in an old neighbourhood – barber shops with their signature barber’s pole that hypnotises us with the spinning red, blue and white colours.

33. Bomb Shelter

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More than a bomb shelter, Singaporeans have turned them into storage rooms. A+ for practicality.

34. GRC

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When just one Boundary Road divides Serangoon into Marine Parade and Aljunied GRCs. Why is Serangoon in Marine Parade?

35. Green Corridors

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Mint, pandan or chilli padi. Name it and you will see it growing along our HDB corridors.

36. Changi Airport

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That tingly feeling you get when your Singapore-bound flight lands and the air stewardess announces, “For those of you returning home, welcome back”.

37. Garden City

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Growing in clusters on overhead bridges, carparks, or along road dividers, brightly coloured bougainvilleas are a common sight in Singapore.

38. Lee Kuan Yew

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Our founding father, together with other pioneers, had housed an entire nation.

39. Our Beautiful Skyline

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At the end of the day, we are proud to call Singapore home.

This article is done in collaboration with Qanvast, a trusted platform that connects homeowners and home professionals. Discover over 10,000+ home inspiration ideas, with renovation cost. Simplify your renovation journey by downloading the Qanvast app (available on iOS or Android).


Featured image via Prezi