In comment, Chinese culture and why SG chinese aren't 'singaporean'The following is a comment placed on 'solo bear's' site in response to the article, 'PAP's Racist MT Policy, Part 2 - PAP is forcing Han Culture, not Chinese Culture, on us'
I've been stating for some time now that singapore practices Qin-Han culture, which may also be known as China's culture as opposed to 'Chinese' culture.
Once the Chinese come into singapore, they do not come and have to remain as they were but have the potential of becoming 'singaporean' as opposed to being chinese-inhabiting-singapore. That is when they fuse with the best of all and become more than they otherwise would be. The same applies to the rest of the 'races'. As that did not happen, i cannot logically consider the local chinese to be 'singaporean' but as 'chinese inhabiting singapore' as they do not reflect the best of all the other races but have replicated a variant of chinese culture. Putting it simply, they have forced a triangular shaped object into a circular hole. [and viewed the success of this endeavour as evidence that the triangular shape was always circular - whilst validating the value of the tools used to do it as it had delivered 'harmony', if not mutual respect.]
In that sense, I do not consider the Malays or Indians, amongst others, as 'Singaporeans' either since they have been prevented from developing their cultures further in the face of difference, or/and, have been underdeveloped due to the government's monocultural stance. They have becomes less-cum-same as 'chinese' in may respects today.
Yes, whilst chinese culture in singapore may be different from that of the fatherland, this is in degree and not necessarily orientation. Given the cultural introversion, top-down management, traditionalism, conformism, etc, they tend to be united in a foundational sense.
If other cultures exist within China, it is only tolerated insofar as it does not conflict with the Qin-Han ethos. It is an old perspective amongst the chinese that superior peoples will conform to one culture and one authority - also illustrated by the translation for 'zhong guo', meaning 'central land' or 'middle land/kingdom'. Quite fascist don't you think.
In that sense, one cannot say that they are wholly distinctive. The general chinese approach, be it in China, Singapore, or HK, is that you're either like the chinese, don't conflict with them, or don't be at all. In my 'getting along' with the chinese in singapore, it is an unstated rule that one keeps one's own persona at home for the sake of 'harmony'.
As for 'all cultures' having 'their own beauty', that is fine, so long as that 'beauty' does not maintain great ugliness in significant respects. Culture is, simply put, a 'system of thought and thoughtlessness'. It is the latter that indicates the value of the former.