Hello. I rewrote my Singapore OC's bio not too long ago and I'll be really happy if someone gave me some critique on how to improve on her.
Vanda Raffles Admin’s reason for her name:
"Vanda" , her first name, is in Sanskrit and it comes from the breed of orchid Singapore uses as her national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim.
"Raffles", her surname, comes from the founder of Modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. I personally think that Singapore would feel most grateful towards her founder instead of the country he worked for. Singapore is also known as "Raffles' Little Child". Therefore, she has her founder's surname, "Raffles", instead of "Kirkland", the surname of the country who colonised her for more than a hundred years.
Singapore is made up of 4 main races - The Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians. I also avoided using surnames from the language of the 3 major races - Mandarin Chinese(Chinese), Bahasa Melayu (Malay)/Tamil (Indian) because I felt that it was unfair if I only used one or two of the languages. I also decided against mixing her name with the 4 official languages because it'll be too messy.Nicknames:
Little Red Dot
16 years oldCountry’s age:
49 (since independence in 1965)
195 (since founding in 1819)Height:
O+ (43.6% of her citizens are O RH Positive and is the most common blood type in Singapore.) Sexual orientation:
StraightPhysical Appearance:Skin colour:
She has a medium tan skin tone due to her close proximity to the equator and tropical climate. Facial features:
Vanda has an oval face shape, broad tip nose and rounded, medium eyebrows. Her eyes are dark brown in colour and they look emotionless. This is due to her bad eyesight and reputation as a “soulless city”. She wears contact lenses instead of glasses because she finds it annoying and frustrating. Her face is prone to breakouts because of the heat and humidity of the climate. Hair:
She has straight, raven black hair that reaches down to her armpits and blunt bangs that reaches right above her eyebrows. Her hair usually be coiled and tied into a French twist.
The weird flipped 'J' ahoge, which sticks out, came out after her unusual independence. The crescent-like ahoge symbolises the disputed island of Pedra Branca. They are NOT her sensitive spots.Body:
Vanda has a rectangular body shape and small chest area. She is considered petite in size when compared to the Western countries.Outfits:Casual
She would wear a printed or plain coloured T-shirt with shorts. She usually wears this at home and as her sleepwear.
T-shirt and jeans when she goes out for a walk.Smart Casual (Office wear)
She sports a light blue, short sleeved, frilled blouse and black knee-length skirt. She wears a pair of black flats. In addition, she wears a red lanyard around her neck with her office identification card attached to it.Formal (Business meetings)
She would be dressed in a black blazer with a plain white blouse and a maroon tie tucked neatly beneath it. It is accompanied with a pair of black dress pants a matching pair of black heels.Formal (Visits to other countries)
She dons the "Singapore Girl" uniform. It is a blue, scoop neck Sarong Kebaya with batik designs. It is an altered design of the traditional Sarong Kebaya worn by the Malays, Peranakans and Javanese. She would also wear a pair of matching patterned slippers.Speech mannerism:Tone:
Her tone is usually confident and formal during business meetings and important events. However, when interacting with others on a personal level, she tends to be more awkward and uncertain. There will be more pauses between sentences and sounds like “uhh” and “hmm”. She has a strong Singaporean accent without the Singlish, therefore, she might sound monotonous at times.Language:
This Singapore OC rarely speaks Singlish because she is afraid of embarrassing herself in front of other countries. Due to the fact that some words in Singlish has a different meaning in English, many English-speaking countries might get of the wrong meaning. She speaks "formal English", the type of English Singaporeans will use and speak in politics and business.
She can speak and write the 4 official languages of Singapore with different proficiency with English being the best, Bahasa Melayu being the second, Mandarin being the third and Tamil being the last. However, she is starting to forget how to speak in some Chinese dialects like Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Shanghainese and Cantonese and Malay Dialects like Baba Malay and Bazaar Malay because her boss doesn't encourage her and her citizens to speak in dialects.Religious beliefs:
According to Pew Research Centre, Singapore is the world's most religiously diverse nation. Due to this large diversity of religions in Singapore (10 recognised religions), Vanda declares herself as a free thinker in order not to offend followers from any religions. Zodiac (Eastern):
Snake Zodiac (Western):
A Orang Utan named “Ah Meng” who passed away 6 years ago.Backstory:
Ah Meng was her pride and joy. Initially, the ape was illegally smuggled into her country and kept as a domestic pet. After catching the person who brought the illegal pet for humans in, she managed to give the ape a proper home in the Singapore Zoo. The ape was named "Ah Meng" and its intelligence impressed Vanda. Vanda decided to make Ah Meng the "poster girl" of the Zoo to draw more visitors. Ah Meng soon became really popular with the tourists and citizens. However, Vanda somewhat regretted her decision because so many visitors flocked to visit Ah Meng, leaving Vanda with lesser time to visit Ah Meng during her free time.
Ah Meng died due to old age in 2008. It broke Vanda's heart and she definitely missed Ah Meng's company. In order to remember Ah Meng's achievements and companionship, Vanda planted a durian tree at her grave because Ah Meng loved eating durians. Earliest memory:
Her earliest memory dates back to 1819, when Sir Stamford Raffles founded “modern Singapore”. This memory is very important to her.Admin’s reasoning for her first memory:Most of the Singaporeans in do not know the history of Singapore during the ancient times, which once known as Singapura and Temasek. They only know the history of “modern Singapore”, which was post-1819 because it is taught in schools. As the personification of the country and people, she doesn’t remember her ancestors and how she started out before 1819. History:Early Colonial Days (1819 - 1942)
Vanda first met Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. She was known as "Singapura" but he founded her as "Singapore" a few days later as a trading post of the British East India Company. Raffles' ambitious plans for her future made her look up to him as a father. She was then taken in as a British colony in 1824. It broke her when she received news that he died in 1826. Although the time Vanda spent with her founder was very short, she understood his vision of transforming her into a great city in the future.
Life under the British rule was hard - Poor healthcare, sanitation and unfair treatment of her citizens. Immigrants swarmed in by the hundreds. Poverty and crime were prevalent. Even so, Vanda held on to Sir Stamford Raffles’ dream of becoming a great city for the British Empire. She remained loyal to her colonial master and was optimistic about her future. However, when opium and prostitution was made legal in Singapore, she saw her people getting corrupted by these temptations. It broke her heart because she helplessly watched the society slowly break down before her eyes because she was powerless to do anything because she was only a colony.
After World War I, in which Singapore wasn't affected by it, her colonial master started to build a naval base on her land to counter the increasingly aggressive Japanese forces. When the base was completed before World War II broke out, she was known as the "Gibraltar of the East" and "The Impregnable Fortress". However, her naval base didn't have a fleet when the World War II broke out in Europe and slowly started in Asia. World War 2 (1942 - 1945)
All of her respect and trust in the British, her colonial master, was crushed during the surrender of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. What was once known as “the impregnable fortress” fell in 7 days. The unconditional surrender of her people and the land was something Vanda would remember up till today. She was officially surrendered by Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival to General Tomoyuki Yamashita on 15 Feburary 1942, 6.20pm, which fell on the day of Chinese New Year.
Life under the Japanese rule wasn’t any better. Singapore was renamed to Syonan-to (昭南島 Shōnan-tō ) or "Light of the South Island". Her people was forced to learn the Japanese language and sing the national anthem of Japan. The days were filled with terror and uncertainty. Singapore was cut off from the news out of the country because the media only printed and broadcasted propaganda. The Japanese didn't like the Chinese population, whose loyalty was still to China. In order to set an example, the Kempeitai executed her citizens in the Sook Ching Massacre, which were mostly targeted at them.
After the Japanese changed the currency of Singapore to "Banana money", her economy went downhill. Basic necessities was becoming scarce and unaffordable for her people. In order to fend of starvation, yam, sweet potatoes and tapioca were farmed by her citizens instead of buying rice. These staple foods replaced rice for the 3 meals and dessert of the people and they even managed to come up with several new dishes despite the hardship.
When the Allied Forces started air raids on Singapore who was under the Japanese rule, she felt very happy to hear bombing sounds for the first time. She knew that her liberation from the Japanese rule may come anytime soon and her previous colonial master finally came back for them. Pre-independent days (1945 - 1965)
In 1945, after the Japanese officially surrendered, there was a state of anomie in Singapore. The British hasn't come back for them yet and they still had to live with the Japanese for around a month until she was surrendered back to the British. Vanda was happy to be relieved from the years of torture and fear under the Japanese. However, her people had changed within the 3 years when she was under the Japanese. Since the British were unable to defend their colonies, her people had a different idea for the future. They didn’t want Singapore to be a colony anymore. They wanted independence.
Ironically, their common dream of freeing Singapore from the British ended up dividing them. Some wanted Singapore to be a Communist country while others wanted democracy. She ended up rebelling in her own way against the British rule by rioting on the streets. Singapore was at risk of becoming a Communist country due to the Communists' popularity and influence in the country. Due to this fact, The British held on to Singapore longer because they felt that Singapore had no capable leaders of leading the country on the right path. After looking at Malaya being granted independence by the British, Singapore became even more aggressive in asking for independence. When Singapore heard that there Malaya was thinking of a merger with other British colonies in South East Asia, Singapore offered to merge with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to from Malaysia for a common market and for the purpose of breaking away from the British rule.
Singapore became a state in Malaysia. The days after the merger weren’t peaceful. There was constant racial unrest amongst the people in both territories. Indonesia and the Philippines were unhappy with the merger due to claims in Sabah and Sarawak. Indonesia openly expressed their objection through “Konfrontasi” and Singapore got caught in the violence. The MacDonald House bombing in 1965 made her lose her trust in Indonesia and strained their ties. The people in Malaysia and Singapore were having racial tensions and their bosses couldn't get along at all. Singapore's boss wanted equality for her citizens, a "Malaysian Malaysia" but Malaysia's boss had a different idea.
In 1965, the Malaysian government decided to expel Singapore to prevent any more internal chaos. Singapore was officially expelled on 9th August 1965 and Singapore had no choice but to declare independence on the very same day.Post-Independence (1965 - Present)
Singapore was fearful for her future. She felt like she couldn’t trust her neighbours that much anymore. It took her quite some time to realise the situation she was in and the citizen's celebration of her first birthday celebrated on 9th August 1966 was her main motivation to work hard.
In order to communicate with her citizens better, she learnt their mother tongues – Mandarin Chinese and Tamil. She learnt English during her days as a colony and Bahasa Melayu was the mother tongue she already knew. Her citizens worked hard together, regardless of race, language or religion, under the common identity of being a “Singaporean” instead of being separated by race or religion.
Her first batch of soldiers was trained in 1967, with help and guidance from the Israeli forces. However, she cannot openly express her gratitude to Israel because of the fear of offending her neighbours.
In the process of constantly upgrading herself with new knowledge and dialects, it caused her to suffer quite a bit. Her eyesight deteriorated over time. She had to wear a pair of thick glasses due to myopia.
The different languages Singapore pushed herself to learn ended up confusing her, causing her to unintentionally create “Singlish”, an English based creole which borrows words from languages like Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil and Chinese-based dialects like Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew. She once spoke Singlish with pride, however, the other nations other than Malaysia, who spoke Manglish, couldn't understand her at all. In addition, due to the fact that Singlish will affect the speaker's proficiency in English, Singlish is frowned upon by her boss and he constantly encouraged Singapore and her citizens to speak in proper English.Personality:In a nutshell
Vanda is the female personification of the Republic of Singapore, a country and city-state known for its greenery, strict laws and being a "fine city". After being expelled from the Federation of Malaysia on 9th August 1965, which resulted in her sudden independence, her personality changed completely. In the past (British colonial days)
During her life as a British colony, Singapore used to be a cheerful, laid-back and easy-going person. She was always optimistic about her future because she felt that her colonial master could protect her from any harm despite the bad quality of life her citizens had. Nevertheless, all of them looked up to the British and were happy being colonised. The British gave her hope during the uneasiness of an impending war in South East Asia. She was nicknamed "Gibraltar of the East" and believed that she was "the impregnable fortress" of the British Empire. Her hopes and trust were crushed when she suffered air raids and finally, the biggest betrayal she experienced, the unconditional surrender of her land to the Japanese. World War 2 and aftermath
When she was known as Syonan-to, she couldn't bring herself to be optimistic and cheerful as she once was when she was a British colony. The days she lived in fear and pain changed her. By the end of the Japanese Occupation, she was tired of being a colony. Although Singapore and her people were glad that the British returned to them after a month of anomie after the surrender of the Japanese, she became distant and cold towards her first colonial master. She was still fuming mad with the British for abandoning her people when they needed them the most.
She remained the same even after merging and becoming a state in Malaysia. After Independence
Initially after gaining independence, she was unmotivated to work hard despite her citizens feeling relieved when they heard about the separation. It is partially due to her fear of the world and the countries around her. She saw herself as a vulnerable island with larger and fiercer neighbours.
Another fear was not having natural resources to survive. Unlike other countries who are gifted with land for farming, oil and precious stones, Singapore has nothing. Not even water eligible for consumption.
Singapore slowly recovered from her shock from the separation on the following year of 9th August 1966, when she celebrated her first birthday in the rain. Despite the rain, her citizens cheered for her enthusiastically and the overwhelming positive response she got did make her feel their "National Pride and Confidence in the Future". It motivated Singapore to pick herself up and slowly, her fears were proved wrong.
Over the years, one of the few major changes she had was how strict she became with her laws and shows no mercy to whoever who broke them. One notable example was the Michael Faye case which strained Singapore's ties with the USA. When it comes to the law, Singapore doesn't fear any country, even if most of them are way are larger and stronger than her. She believes in "When in Rome, do what the Romans do". She believes that it's a basic rule for any country you go to and hers as well.
She rarely grants criminals on death row and caning clemency because she felt that they were unrepentant and a leopard would never change its spots. She hates illegal drugs the most and other cruel acts such as kidnapping and murder.
Her strictness came about because of the riots and unjust she witnessed in her short history and she didn't want to see history repeating itself. She strongly believes that her tough laws would protect the innocent. Due to the fact that Singapore once had the highest execution rate to her population, she was called the "Disneyland with death sentence" and she is VERY offended by that "nickname". Her laws for fining people who commits less serious offences made people give her the nickname of Fine City, with a pun intended on the "fine".
She doesn't feel bad for the people on death row because she felt like they deserved it for breaking the law or trying to harm the innocent. She would get her hands as dirty as possible in order to protect the peace the citizens live in now. Although Singapore's law is controversial and seen as draconian for Western standards, she stands firm on her view on capital punishments and censorship.
She is also known as a "kiasu" (怕输) person, meaning someone who is extremely afraid to lose out. She is fiercely competitive and is always afraid of losing to another country in terms of rankings, especially in academics. She felt that despite being a small country and city-state, she can be as capable as bigger countries despite her disadvantages. Winning the top few spots in certain rankings mean A LOT to her. Losing out very badly for important rankings like the GDP, HDI, academics etc. would ruin her mood for days and she might get so frustrated and cry because of it.
>> Warming up
Despite her cold and aloof exterior, she will eventually warm up to others with time. She won't be that formal and awkward to interact with and can be a little more expressive at times too. However, that doesn't mean that she will disclose how she truly feels about that country because she believes in "giving face". "Face" is very important to her because she doesn't want to hurt bilateral ties by being too direct with her words.
Sometimes, when asked for her opinion, she would be very blunt about it. She doesn't believe in beating around the bush or sugar coating words for certain issues and as it would cause unnecessary misunderstandings.
Singapore is wary of other countries at first, despite of having the role to promote bilateral ties with them. It stems from the breaking of trust from the British, who assured them that Singapore is more than prepared to face World War II; the Japanese who promised that they were just liberating them from their European colonial masters; Malaysia, who often threatened to cut off the water supply to her; Indonesia, the neighbour who she never expected to attack her during Konfrontasi. It would take a long time for the others to get close to her and gain her trust. The few countries/territories who she felt like she could trust more than the others are Brunei, India and Hong Kong.
When interacting with others, she will not disclose much information about herself but expects the other party to slowly open up towards her.
>> Emotions and grudges
Singapore rarely shows how she feels inside with her face. She smiles when needed to and laughs when it's appropriate.
She doesn't hold a grudge against any human or country but history is very sensitive to her. She forgives but doesn't forget. Thus, she is constantly reminding herself and the citizens about their short history so that they will know who treated their ancestors badly. An example is the annual Total Defence Day to commemorate and educate the students to remember the day Singapore fell to the Japanese. The most sensitive topics to her are the Merger of Singapore and Malaya, bombing of the MacDonald building during Konfrontasi and Sook Ching during her days as Syonan-to.Interests:
Despite how others view her as someone who is "all work, no play", she still takes an interest in things out of work.Arts
Vanda is still learning how to appreciate the different forms of art and is also encouraging her citizens to do the same. It includes photography, painting, animation, playing a musical instrument etc.Gardening
After slowly building the city, she realised that the city of hers lacked greenery. She wanted more plants and her boss noticed that too. They didn't want Singapore to be known as a "concrete jungle", therefore, Singapore started to work towards being a "garden city". The "Tree planting day" started in 1971 and hundreds of trees were planted island-wide for this cause. The "Tree planting day" still continues up till today. In the present day, Singapore wanted to attract and impress tourists with her interest and thus, her dream, Gardens by the Bay was built. The domes could house plants from other climates and the outdoor gardens could have plants from the tropical region. Cooking
Singapore likes cooking. Even though most of the dishes she liked to cook didn't originate from her, she loved learning how to make the dishes. The few popular cuisines in her country are the Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisines. However, the things she learnt to cook from a nationality's cuisine tend to lose some of its original flavour. This never fails to put Vanda in a bad mood because she wants the taste of the food to be as accurate as possible.Eating
In addition to cooking, she loves eating equally. Eating is considered one of her national pastimes for her citizens and herself. She is never afraid of trying out new dishes from different cultures. It can be food from a street stall, village, hawker centre to a posh, 5-star restaurant. She isn't considered a gourmet due to her acceptance of food of different qualities. Shopping
Shopping is another past time of both Vanda and her citizens. She could walk the whole day around Orchard Road or Bugis Street to shop for branded goods or cheap deals. She is quite good at looking for good deals for her clothes and has a tendency to haggle for a better price at shops which aren't in malls or hotels. Countries Singapore has historical relations with:
MalaysiaRelations with other countries:United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
They first came in contact in 1826, when she officially became a British colony. She respected him and trusted him. However, her attitude towards him changed after the Second World War. She became more distant towards him. After her independence, she decided to recognise him as a good friend of hers. In the present day, she still respects him as the country who guided her when she was younger. However, she couldn't bring herself to trust him as much as she did when she was still a colony.Japan
Even though Japan caused her people to suffer and die during World War II, she decided to forgive his actions. She didn't want her people to drag the hatred from generations to generations. However, she is still very awkward when being around him because the memories from World War II still remains in her head.Malaysia
Malaysia is her closest neighbour geographically and their relationship is usually unstable. They can fight over the smallest things but can patch up after some time. For example, the dispute over Pedra Branca and Middle Rocks. The quarrel led to both countries going to the International Court of Justice to resolve their territorial dispute peacefully. She views Malaysia as an annoying neighbour and a rival. In addition, she doesn't really trust Malaysia because of the threats to cut off the sale of water to her. This forced Singapore to seek more innovative methods to be self-sufficient in her water supply by 2061, when the last water contract with Malaysia ends.Indonesia
Despite having conflicts and a few tensions, Singapore still considers Indonesia as a neighbour and an acquaintance of hers. Their friendship is still strained because she feels that Indonesia is too bossy and insensitive towards her. A notable example is Indonesia's recent naming of a warship after two Indonesians Singapore regarded as terrorists. Due to Indonesia's Konfrontasi during her pre-independent days, she couldn't bring herself to trust Indonesia at all.Israel
Israel helped the newly independent Singapore set up her military defence force and she is thankful for the help. However, Malaysia and Indonesia doesn't like her friendship with Israel, therefore, she rarely visited or talked to him to avoid provoking her larger neighbours. Brunei
Singapore treats Brunei as a good friend of hers and their currencies are on par. They conduct military exercises together annually. However, they rarely have a common topic to chat about. Whenever they are together, they'll just enjoy each other's company in silence.People's Republic of China
Their bilateral ties are gradually warming up after a few ups and downs. Singapore looks up to him as a teacher, but at the same time, she is quite fearful of him. It is because shortly after her independence in 1965, there were China-backed communist threats in her country, which made her feel uneasy. Despite several disputes in the past, he recently loaned Singapore two of his pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia, for 10 years, in recognition of their friendship. United States of America
Singapore first met him when she was still under the British rule. They became good friends shortly after she gained independence. They share a good bilateral relationship in business and defence. However, they can't get along at times due to Singapore being overly strict with her laws. She also doesn't like him mistaking her as a province in the People's Republic of China.<< 4 Asian Dragons >>
Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore are the 4 Asian Dragons.Taiwan (Republic Of China)
They have a rocky relationship after quarrelling a few times with each other. However, they managed to solve their misunderstandings. She considers Taiwan as one of her closer friends in East Asia. She introduced Singapore one of her drinks, bubble tea, and this drink is popular among her people.Hong Kong
They were once British colonies and in the present day, she treats him like a friendly rival. She engages in a healthy competition with him and strives to overtake him in global rankings. South Korea
Vanda considers South Korea as a friend. He introduced her to K-Pop (dance and music) and she liked it. It is also the current trend in Singapore.Quirks:
- She would always have at least 2 or 3 packets of tissue with her. These are her "weapons" during the peak hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She leaves the packet of tissue on the table to "chope" (reserve) the table. The people who are looking for empty tables would automatically know that the table is already "reserved"and they would search for another one.
- She tends to judge a food stall’s food by the length of their queue. The longer the queue, the better it is.
- She queues up for almost everything – Food, freebies to Hello Kitty plush toys.
- She doesn’t like making small talk with her fellow country personifications and people.
- She avoids the priority seat on the trains in fear of seeing her face being shamed on the internet.
- She likes staring at something. It can be anything at all. People's faces, their attire, handbags and even the food they are eating.
- She drinks "Milo Dinosaur", a type of chocolate drink with lots of the chocolatey powder piled on top, whenever she's feeling stressed.
- She likes comparing prices and quality between several items to get the best deal out of everything, including toilet papers.
- She is obsessed with academic performance.
Eating (National past time) Dislikes:
Cigarettes Favourite animals:
Cats and snakes in general. (They are quite commonly found in Singapore, although finding snakes would always alarm the public.)
Vanda Raffles (c) MaidenPhoenix