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F.A.Q.: Frequently Asked Questions - Society and Culture PDF Print E-mail
Frequently Asked Questions - Society and Culture

Question: Please list some cultural challenges a U.S. expat may have to overcome.

Answer: When it comes to cultural challenges, it depends on oneself. Generally, if you are not obnoxious, not too overbearing, and don't have strong BO, you will survive in the friendly social and hospitable environment that is Singapore. Accord the basic respect to the people you meet, a warm handshake if you are seeking a business contact, be punctual...these are the sort of routines that you are probably used to anyway.

Question: What are the norms regarding tipping in Singapore? I've been told that sometimes people don't expect tips from locals - is this true?

Answer: Some pointers: Tipping at restaurants is NOT expected. That's because we're already paying a huge service charge that the employees get to split at the end of the month.

Hairstylists: It's common for stylists from the more upmarket salons to expect a tip for good service, usually not more than 10% of the bill.

Other services: Deliveries - depends. If it's a small item like groceries or pizza, no tip is expected. But if it's a bulky item like furniture, then some tip would be appropriate.

You're probably right to say Singaporeans expect foreigners to tip but not locals. Who NOT to tip: taxi drivers, waiters, pizza boy, anyone representing a government body eg telephone repair man.
Who to tip: that's totally up to you, if you think it's deserved, go
ahead. If not, don't feel guilty about it, it's not in the culture here to
tip.

Question:  What are the laws regarding gun ownership? Are shooting facilities available and open to the public? Specifically are skeet and sporting clays facilities available? What about private gun/handgun ownership?

Answer:   Gun ownership in Singapore is illegal. There is however a private gun club which provides rifles and ammunition for skeet and trap shooting. Membership costs S$3300 plus S$300 a year.

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