★ Creator’s note:
This OC is made based on Singapore's twin pillars of defence representing diplomacy and deterrence.
The main personification of Singapore, Vanda Raffles, is tasked on upholding Singapore's diplomatic policies by building friendly ties with countries around the world. Thus, she is friendlier (even though she can be awkward) in comparison to her male counterpart who represents Singapore's policy of deterrence. [☾] Human name (s)
Vanda Raffles (Official)
林嘉欣 / Lim Jia Xin
இளநிலா / Ilanila
★ Reasons for her names
⋆ As Singapore is made up of 4 races - The Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians, she has to treat people from every race equally to prevent another racial riots. She refrained from picking her official name she uses to introduce herself from the mother tongues of the major races - Mandarin Chinese (Chinese), Bahasa Melayu (Malay), Tamil (Indian) because it would be unfair to use only one or two of the languages while following the naming convention. In order to be fair to all races, she named herself in the other 3 official languages she didn’t use in her official name.
⋆ Her name in English
is Vanda Raffles
, her given name, is in Sanskrit and it comes from the first hybrid species of orchid that was cultivated on her land, the Vanda Miss Joaquim, which became the national flower in 1981. In addition, Singapore practices “orchid diplomacy” where orchids would be named after another country's very important person (VIP) to promote bilateral ties between Singapore and the other country. In addition, Singapore’s original name, Singapura, is in Sanskrit.Raffles
, her surname with English roots, comes from the founder of Modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles. She took up her founder’s surname because of how her Sanskrit name “Singapura” was anglicised to “Singapore”. She however, never took up the UK’s surname of “Kirkland” despite becoming a part of the Straits Settlements colony in 1826 and being colonised for over 140 years.
⋆ Her name in Mandarin Chinese
and is written as Lim Jia Xin
, an anglicised version of the name in hanyu pinyin.林
(lín), her surname when literally means “forest”. It represents her desire of be a “green nation” and a “garden city”.嘉欣
(jiā xīn), her given name literally means “beautiful happiness”. Achieving happiness is one of the goals she has that is written in the national pledge. The homophone for 嘉欣 in Mandarin Chinese is 加薪, meaning “increment of salary”. It also represents Vanda’s hidden desire of increasing her gross domestic product (GDP).
⋆ Her given name in Bahasa Melayu
, which has Arabic roots, is Aisha
means “alive” and “well-living”. It represents her motivation to stay alive as an independent country and live well.
She excluded binti
, the Arabic patronymic naming convention the Malays follow from her name because it means “daughter of”.
⋆ Her given name in Tamil
(Ilanila) means “moon crescent”. It is with reference to the white crescent moon on her national flag. The waxing crescent moon represents “a young nation on the ascendant”.
The Tamils in Singapore has has a patronymic naming convention too but she excluded d/o
from her name because it means “daughter of”.
⋆ A name she doesn’t like was given to her during the Japanese Occupation in the Second World War. As the official language of her land was changed to Japanese and her country’s name was changed to 昭南島 (Syonan-to), she had no choice but to change her human name too. Her name in Japanese
). The way it was written in kanji means “sunlight child”. It is with reference to the direct translation of 昭南島, meaning “Light of the South”, and Singapore’s climate of year-long summer.[☾] Historical names
Pulau Ujong / 蒲羅中
昭南島 (Doesn’t like being called this.)
星嘉坡 / 星加坡
Little Red Dot
“Fine” City (Doesn’t like being called this.)
[☾] Physical appearance
18 years old
[☾] Country’s age
50 since independence in 1965.
196 since founding in 1819.
[☾] Blood type
O+ (43.6% of her citizens are O RH Positive, making it the most common blood type in Singapore.)
[☾] Sexual orientation
Straight / Heterosexual
[☾] Physical 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 myopia (short-sightedness) caused by over 80% of her people being myopic. She wears contact lenses instead of glasses because she finds it annoying when it fogs up. Her face is prone to breakouts because of the heat and humidity of the climate.
She has straight, raven black hair that reaches down to her armpits and blunt bangs that reaches right above her eyebrows.
The ahoge which looks like fishing hook stuck out from the stress of declaring her independence. The crescent-like ahoge symbolises the disputed island of Pedra Branca. They are NOT her sensitive spots.
Vanda has a rectangular body shape and small chest area. She is considered petite in size when compared to the Western countries.
She would wear a printed or plain coloured T-shirt with shorts and slippers. She usually wears this at home or for events like night BBQs by the beach.
T-shirt, skinny jeans and flats.
For both outfits, she'd tie her hair into a pony tail.
★ Smart Casual (Office wear)
She wears a white, short sleeved, frilled blouse, black knee-length skirt accompanied a pair of black flats. In addition, she wears a red lanyard around her neck with her office identification card attached to it.
For a neater look, she’d tie her hair into a simple bun.
★ Formal (Business meetings)
She would be dressed in a black blazer, white long sleeved blouse with a maroon tie tucked neatly beneath the blazer. It is accompanied with a pair of black dress pants a matching pair of black heels.
Likewise, she ties her hair into a simple bun.
★ 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.
She follows the common hairstyles the air stewardess ties, which is the French twist.
Singapore doesn't have her own fashion style. She follows trends from other countries like the USA, Japan and South Korea.
[☾] Speech mannerism
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.
Vanda 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. (For example, "shag" in British English and "shag" in Singlish.) She speaks "standard Singapore English", the type of English Singaporeans will use and converse in schools and at work.
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. Unfortunately, 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.
She is not fairing well in lesser known languages like Kristang, spoken by the Eurasians of Portugese descent.
Unless she is giving a public speech, a presentation or speaking in any other formal events, Singapore usually talks quite fast and often throws in abbreviations. (Words like NS/National Service, PIE/Pan Island Expressway.) It could be incomprehensible to those who aren't used to her speed and speech.
★ Intonation and Pronunciation
Vanda had a hard time learning how to pronounce words in her official languages correctly. She made many mistakes when conversing in English. For example, she had a tendency to miss out pronouncing the "th" sound of words with "th" and not rolling her tongue when she needed to. In addition, the way she pronounce certain words largely differ from the correct prounciation. (Words like “lingerie”.) Although she was corrected by her boss countless times, she might end up repeating her past mistakes.
She is awful at pronouncing words from foreign languages.
Her intonation can be weird sometimes and she might end up emphasising the wrong syllable of a word.
[☾] 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 (Year 1965)
[☾] Zodiac (Western)
Leo (9th August)
She once had a female Orang Utan named “Ah Meng” who passed away 7 years ago (In 2008). She currently has 5 Singapura/Kucinta cats living in her house who named after her important mascots. (Lyo, Merly, Nila, Sharity and Singa.)
Ah Meng was her pride and joy. The ape was actually illegally smuggled into her country and kept as a domestic pet. After catching the person who brought the illegal pet into her land, 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.
Ah Meng died of 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.
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. Therefore, it affected her memory in a way that she could not recall her past after the British’s colonisation.
★ Early Colonial Days (1819 - 1942)
Vanda first met Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. She was then known as "Singapura" then 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 1826. Her modern founder died in the same year. Although the time Vanda spent with her founder was very short, she understood his vision of transforming her into a great city for the British Empire in the future.
Life under the British rule was hard - Poor healthcare, sanitation and unfair treatment of her citizens. Immigrants swarmed from China and India in by the hundreds. Poverty and crime were prevalent. Even so, Vanda held on to Sir Stamford Raffles’ dream. 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. She was powerless to do anything because she was only a colony.
Shortly after World War I in Europe, 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 Asia.
★ World War 2 (1942 - 1945)
Singapore was shocked and unprepared when she experienced bombings from the Japanese. All of her respect and trust in the British 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 land was something Singapore 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 first 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 pro-Japanese propaganda. The Japanese didn't like the largely Chinese population, whose loyalty was still to China. In order to set an example to those who opposed them, the Kempeitai executed her citizens in the Sook Ching Massacre, which were mostly targeted at the Chinese and the Eurasians. Her people feared going out of their homes to shop in the streets as they didn't want to meet any Japanese soldiers.
After the Japanese changed the currency of Singapore to "Banana money", her economy went downhill. Basic necessities were becoming scarce and unaffordable for her people. In order to fend off starvation, yam, sweet potatoes and tapioca were farmed by her citizens instead of buying rice. These staple foods replaced rice for the 3 basic meals of her people. Although they were malnourished, they managed to fill their stomachs.
When the Allied Forces started air raids on Singapore who was under the Japanese rule, she felt very relieved 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.
The war had an impact for both Vanda and her people. The Sook Ching Massacre, the bombings from both the Axis and Allies caused a few faint scars to appear on her body. Bother her people and her hated Imperial Japan and the Japanese soldiers.
★ Crown Colony (1946 - 1963)
In 1945, after the Japanese officially surrendered, there was a state of anomie in Singapore. A month later, the British came back to officially sign the Japanese’s surrender of Singapore to the British. Vanda was happy to be relieved from the years of torture and fear under the Japanese. Shortly after the Japanese surrendered Singapore back to the British, a memory she wouldn't forget was how her people started chanting the word "bagero" towards the Japanese soldiers the same way they were scolded by them. Her people had a different idea after the 3 years of Japanese Occuption. 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 Singapore to be free from the British rule.
Ironically, their common dream of freeing Singapore ended up dividing them. Some wanted Singapore to be a Communist country while others wanted democracy. Due to the huge Chinese population in Singapore, Singapore was at risk of becoming a Communist country due to the popularity of the socialist movement in China. The British were even more reluctant of granting Singapore independence. They 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 together with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to from Malaysia for a common market and for the purpose of breaking away from the British rule.
★ Singapore in Malaysia (1963 - 1965)
In 1963, 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. Singapore had no choice but to declare independence on the very same day.
★ Post-Independence (1965 - Present)
Vanda was fearful for her future. She felt like she couldn’t trust her neighbours that much anymore. The day she declared independence wasn't a happy one. Instead, she was stressed because she had so many people on her tiny island and she didn't know what to do as a country. Another memory she wouldn't forget was how her boss cried on national television while declaring their independence from Malaysia. It took her quite some time to realise the situation she was in before deciding to work hard for her people.
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. Most of the signs and instructions would be written in these 4 languages except for road signs, which would be in English. She gave herself names in the 4 languages too, with English being the official one.
Her first batch of soldiers was trained in 1967, with help and guidance from the Israeli forces. However, she cannot openly express her gratitude towards Israel because of the fear of offending her neighbours. Meanwhile, her air force was trained by the British who were pulling out of their colonies in South East Asia. She finally had her own modern defence force consisting of the army, navy and air force by 1975.
In the process of constantly upgrading herself with new knowledge and dialects (before her boss discouraged the use of spoken dialects), it caused her to suffer quite a bit. Her eyesight deteriorated over time and had to wear a pair of thick glasses after being diagnosed with 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 in a similar creole, 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 bosses and is constantly encouraging Singapore and her citizens to speak in proper English.
The bitter feelings from World War 2 gradually faded over time. She forgave the British who failed to protect them and tried her best to forgive the Japanese who hurt them. Nevertheless, she still wanted her people to remember what their forefathers went through. The "Important Message Signal" will sound using the Public Warning System at 6.20pm annually on 15th of February to commemorate the British's unconditional surrender of her land and people to the Japanese. 15 February is also known as Total Defence Day to educate and remind the younger Singaporeans that no one but themselves should defend Singapore.
★ 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".
★ Singapore, Straits Settlements (1819 - 1942)
During her life as a British colony, Vanda 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, her people looked up to the British and she was 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 due because she had a strong naval base built on her land. 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.
★ Syonan-to (1942 - 1945)
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 had changed her. She saw how brutal the Japanese were to her people and the atrocities they did. By the end of the Japanese Occupation, she was tired of the way her people were treated by both colonial masters.
★ Crown Colony of Singapore (1946 - 1963)
Compared to the Japanese, the British were more humane but she realised that her people were being treated unfairly because they were of a different skin colour. Although both Vanda and her people were glad that the British returned to them after a month of anomie, she became distant and cold towards her first colonial master.
As the personification of the land, she loved her people more than herself. She was still fuming mad with the British for abandoning her people when they needed them the most. She hated the Japanese for taking away their innocent lives and making them go through such a painful ordeal.
As the concept of Communism was growing in popularity with her people, Vanda grew increasingly violent. She took part in Communist-led riots to show her disapproval towards the British rule.
★ Singapore, Malaysia (1963 - 1965)
After “Operation Coldstore” carried out by the United Kingdom’s and Malaysia’s government on her people, the ideology of Communism was wiped out completely. Vanda became less violent and irrational. However, her bitter feelings towards both the United Kingdom and Japan still remained even though she became a state in Malaysia.
As tensions grew between both Malaysia’s and her boss and their people, it affected her in a way by having more emotional outbursts. Her breaking point was when the first racial riots broke out between her people in July 1964. It was traumatic to witness her people kill each other out of distrust. It was also when she found out both Malaysia and her had totally different views and the merger that was meant to benefit them was a disastrous mistake.
When Konfrontasi was carried out by Indonesia and their bombing attacks killed her people, she grew increasingly angry towards her neighbour, but she couldn’t do anything as she was just a state in Malaysia.
★ Republic of Singapore (1965 to present)
The news of her expulsion from the Federation came as sudden as it was to her people. She only knew about it on the very morning before the TV broadcast. Vanda was confused, lost and disoriented. She knew that the merger wasn’t working out but she didn’t expect to be expelled so soon.
Initially after gaining independence, she feared the world and the countries around her. She saw herself as a vulnerable island with larger and aggressive neighbours.
Another fear was not having natural resources to survive. Unlike other countries who are gifted with land for farming, oil and precious stones, her land has nothing. Not even water fit for consumption.
Vanda 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, seeing her citizens cheering for their first independence day enthusiastically and the overwhelming positive response make her feel their "National Pride and Confidence in the Future", the theme of the celebrations for that year. It motivated Vanda to pick herself up and slowly, her fears were proved wrong.
Her became her source of inspiration to be resourceful and creative in her ways of getting the things she needs. For example, NEWater was a breakthrough invention as it recycles waste water into water cleaner than the tap water her people drinks. However, the idea of drinking NEWater sounded gross to her citizens. She supplied those processed water to factories which require very clean water instead. She also has desalination plants to aid the reservoirs in supplying her citizens with water.
Over the years, she became stricter with her laws and shows no mercy to anyone 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 the majority of them are way are larger and stronger than her. She believes in the saying "When in Rome, do what the Romans do".
Her strictness came about because of the chaos she witnessed in her short history and she didn't want to see history repeating itself. She strongly believes that having tough laws would protect the innocent and her people would be able to live in peace.
There was a period of time where Singapore once had the highest execution rate to her population. She was then 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 is also known in a bad way for her painful caning sentences for the male convicts.
Although Singapore's law is controversial and seen as draconian for Western standards, she stands firm on her view on capital punishments. Vanda believes that this “tough love” she has will protect the innocent and preserve the peace her citizens live in now.
As mentioned in her national pledge, she wanted her land to be “a democratic society based on justice and equality”. She witnessed a particular biased court case which resulted in a riot, the Maria Hertogh riots during her days as a crown colony. It reminded her that she has to be impartial and just after independence.
Due to her strong belief in justice, she rarely grants criminals on death row clemency because she felt that they were unrepentant and that "a leopard would never change its spots." She hates illegal drugs the most and other cruel acts such as kidnapping and murder. 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.
Vanda is also known as a "kiasu" (怕输) person, meaning someone who is extremely afraid to lose. She is fiercely competitive and is always afraid of losing to another country in terms of rankings, especially in academics. Losing out very badly for important rankings like the GDP, HDI, academics etc. would ruin her mood for days because she felt that despite being a small country and city-state, she can be as capable as bigger countries despite her disadvantages. She would work to her limits in order to top global rankings.
It is because of how her bosses after independence placed importance in her people's competitiveness with other countries. They wanted her and her people to be the best in almost every area, regardless of how impossible it might seem. Vanda is also constantly reminded by her bosses of how vulnerable she is because she is only a city-state and being less competitive will inevitably cause their downfall.
Her mentality was influenced by her first and longest-serving boss as a Republic, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who valued this trait in the government. She learnt how to plan projects ahead of time and having contingency plans in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Singapore's relations with other countries are usually for the ease of trade and for defence purposes. She would try and become better friends with countries who would be of benefit to her and her citizens.
When asked for an opinion, Vanda 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. It is also another trait influenced by her first boss.
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 in order for her to feel safer.
Singapore rarely shows how she feels inside with her face. She smiles when needed to and laughs when it's appropriate. In other situations, she usually has a "blank face". She doesn’t like exposing her true feelings to people she doesn’t know well.
Singapore's taste in humour is making fun of current events, especially in her own country. However, she feels that only her citizens and her are "entitled" to make fun of her own issues and she will get defensive if a foreigner did the same. She only laughs at the most basic type of comedy - slapstick comedy, and wouldn't laugh at anything else. Due to this preference, many people think that her citizens and her don't have a sense of humour.
Vanda 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 forefathers badly.
A prominent example is the annual Total Defence Day held on 15th Feburary annual to commemorate the day she fell to the Japanese in 1942. Schools would then educate the students on life during the Occupation and the 5 pillars of Total Defence.
Another example is Racial Harmony day celebrated on 21st July annually to commorate the July Racial Riots in 1964. Likewise, schools would educate the students about the importance of racial harmony and acceptance of every race despite their differences in languages and culture.
The most sensitive topics to her are the Racial Riots and bombing of the MacDonald building during Konfrontasi.
⋆ Always in a rush
Singapore prioritises efficiency and punctuality, therefore, she seems to "rush around" in order to get to other place earlier than the expected time. When other people gets in her way and makes her slow down her pace, she would unknowingly produce an audible "tsk" sound and look quite annoyed. She is often seen as rude and unfriendly due to her behaviour.
⋆ Siege mentality
Due to historical reasons, Singapore slowly developed a siege mentality. Despite living in quite a peaceful South East Asia in present day, Singapore still feels threatened. She feels the constant need to be protected by her citizens and therefore, conscription is made compulsory for all Singaporean males.
Despite how others view her as someone who is "all work, no play", she still takes an interest in things out of work.
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 musical instruments etc. Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay was built to encourage her citizens to be exposed to new forms of performing arts.
After developing building as a city, she realised that the city of hers lacked greenery. Her boss noticed that too and decided to develop Singapore into a "city in a garden" because they didn't want the city 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 has plants from the tropical region.
Vanda 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, Indonesian, 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 as she would unknowingly adjust the taste to suit her own tastes.
Vanda loves eating more than cooking. 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 or a posh, 5-star restaurant. Even though Vanda loves eating, she isn't considered a gourmet due to her acceptance of food of different qualities.
Shopping is another national pastime of both Vanda and her citizens. She could walk the whole day around Orchard Road, Bugis Street or the 24-hour shopping mall, Mustafa to shop for branded goods or cheap deals.
[☾] Important humans:
⋆ Sir Stamford Raffles (founder of Singapore as a British colony)
When she first met him in 1819, she felt both curious and scared because of how different he and his group of men looked. The group of men were also speaking in a foreign language she couldn't understand. Much to Vanda's surprise, when Sir Stamford Raffles met the Sultan, he switched to their language, Melayu. He only visited her from time to time to work on the development of the city but she was amazed by his dream of making her into a thriving port with citizens who were educated. She was quite sad when she received news that her founder died in 1826.
⋆ Lee Kuan Yew (First Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore)
Singapore was introduced her new boss in 1959, when he came into power as the first Prime Minister of Singapore who was still a British Crown colony. However, due to the government’s hard work, she was given the right to self-govern. In 1962, the government led by him held a referendum for the people to vote for the choice of Singapore being in Malaysia. He finally achieved his goal of freeing Singapore from the British colonial rule in 1963. She merged with Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah a few days later to form Malaysia.
When she heard the news of her expulsion from the Federation on 9th August 1965 from him, she was shocked and horrified. On that very day, she saw him cry when he had to announce her independence during a live broadcast to her people. She was strongly motivated by her citizens and him, who had a passion for serving her people. Vanda worked hard to fulfil his expectations and stay true to the promise of a better life for them. Throughout the years, she saw many good policies and a few controversial ones being carried out by the government led by him. When he stepped down as her boss in 1990, she was a little reluctant for him to leave even though she knew that the change of leadership was necessary.
She knew that he was mortal but nevertheless, his death on 23rd March 2015 devastated her and her citizens. Her current boss, who is his son, declared a national mourning period lasting a week. Her citizens actions for her first boss touched her, even though she was very much affected by their emotions. She saw him off on 29th March 2015 before he was cremated.
⋆ Albert Winsemius
He took an interest in developing Singapore’s economy, and led a UN delegation to help the city-state. Vanda feels indebted to him for accepting the role of being her economical advisor. Without the hardwork of so many people, she knew she wouldn’t be one of the Four Asian Tigers today.
⋆ Denis Healey
A British Defence Minister who prolonged the British’s withdrawal from Singapore in 1971 because Singapore was defenceless. Singapore’s Air Force was then trained by the British and bought her first aircraft fighters from the British.
⋆ War Heroes
Vanda is proud of her country’s war heroes who fought in their own ways against the Japanese.
Royal Malay Regiment - Lieunatant Adnan bin Saidi
Force 136 - Lim Bo Seng, Tan Chong Tee
Medical Axuiliary Service – Eter Foo
Singapore Volunteer Corps – Elizabeth “Gunner” Choy
Royal Air Force – Tan Kay Hai
Other resistence fighters and spies - Dr Lim Boon Keng, Halford Boudewyn.
General Arthur Percival – He didn’t exactly desert Singapore because he didn’t run away even though he knew that Singapore had to fight a war. However, he surrendered Singapore unconditionally.
Mamoru Shinozaki – He’s known as the “Japanese Schindler” for saving thousands of Singaporean lives during the Sook Ching Operation. However, he downplayed the casualties of the Sook Ching Operation in his memoirs.
⋆ Composers and designers
S Rajaratnam – the man who wrote the National Pledge, designed Singapore’s Flag and Coat of Arms.
Zubir Said – the man who wrote her national anthem.
Others who have contributed to Singapore in their own ways have roads, hospitals and schools named after them. The examples are, Gan Eng Seng, Tan Tock Seng and Tan Kim Seng.
[☾] Singapore's international relations in a nutshell
Singapore usually tries to act as a meditator between certain asian countries or world powers who can't get along well. Particularly the USA and North Korea; China (PRC) and Taiwan (ROC). Other times, Singapore tries to remain neutral in international relations.
★ Relations with other countries (canon)
⋆ United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
They first came in contact in 1826, when she officially became a British colony as part of the Straits Settlements. She respected him and trusted him. However, her attitude towards him changed after the Second World War. She became more distant and cold towards him. After her independence, she decided to recognise him as a good friend and respects him as a father figure 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.
Even though the Japanese caused her people to suffer and die during World War II, she decided to forgive his peoples' 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.
⋆ 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 over her friendship with Taiwan, he loaned Singapore two of his pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia, for 10 years in recognition of their friendship. They also work together in projects such as the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City and China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial park.
⋆ United States of America
Singapore first met him when she was still under the British rule. However, they became good friends shortly after she gained independence and share a good bilateral relationship in business and defence. They still can't get along at times due to Singapore being overly strict with her laws.
She looks up to India as a teacher because they were once British colonies and she felt that India is older and wiser than her. Singapore has cultural links to India because of the Indians in Singapore were from India.
★ 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.
⋆ S. 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.
★ Relations with other countries (not in Hetalia):
Israel helped the newly independent and defence Singapore set up her military defence force and she is thankful for the help. However, Malaysia and Indonesia doesn't like Israel, therefore, she rarely visited or talked to Israel to avoid provoking her larger neighbours.
⋆ North Korea
She considers North Korea a friend and a potential business partner. Singapore has the Choson Exchange, a non profit organisation which supports North Koreans in terms of providing knowledge on business.
Malaysia is her closest neighbour geographically and their relationship is usually unstable. They fight over the smallest things but will usually 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.
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 naming of a warship after two Indonesians who Singapore regarded as terrorists. Due to Indonesia's Konfrontasi during her pre-independent days, she still couldn't bring herself to trust Indonesia at all. The haze issue that started in 1972 is a touchy subject for both parties too.
Singapore treats Brunei as a good friend of hers and their currencies are even on par. They conduct military exercises together annually. However, they rarely have a common topic to chat about and so, whenever they are together, they'll just enjoy each other's company in silence.
★ 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. Singaporeans 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 the quality of a food stall by the length of their queue. The longer the queue, the better it is.
★ She queues up for almost everything – Food, freebies to McDonald’s Hello Kitty plush toys.
★ She doesn’t like making small talk with her fellow country personifications as she finds it hard to connect to them.
★ She avoids the priority seat on the trains in fear of seeing her face being shamed on the Internet (or a term a Singaporean would know, getting “STOMPed”).
★ She likes staring at something when she is bored. 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 and global rankings.
★ Flying kites
★ Discount vouchers
★ Free food
★ Chewing gum
[☾] Favourite animals
Cats and snakes in general. They are quite a common sight in Singapore, although finding snakes would always cause alarm to the public.
[☾] Favourite food/drinks
Singapore isn’t a picky eater. It is because of the days she had to eat sweet potatoes and yams during the Japanese occupation to fend off starvation. However, if she was given a choice, she prefers dishes that are seafood based and drinks that are sweet, like the “Milo Dinosaur”.
Vanda Raffles (c) MaidenPhoenix