From Ang Ku Kueh to Zero Point – here are the A-Zs of Singapore!

S-I-N-G-A-P-O-R-E! What makes our ‘Little Red Dot’ so unique? It’s all in our ‘rojak’ of culture: from places to people, lingo to landmarks, and even our national pastime - food!


Here’s a look at Singapore’s A-Zs! Take time to recall the stories and memories from home as you read through each letter:



A: Literally translated as 'red tortoise cake', this Chinese treat is made from glutinous rice flour, with a sweet mung bean or peanut filling in the centre.


B: This Malay phrase refers to any form and assortment of personal belongings. As in, "Have you taken your barang-barang with you?"


C: A rubber disc topped with rooster feathers that you would have to kick with the heel of your foot, to keep it in the air for as long as possible. Popular before the days of smartphones and the Internet.




D: Dubbed the 'king of fruits', the durian is a fruit with a strong and distinctive odour. Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay is also nicknamed 'Durian' because of its resemblance to the spiky fruit!


E: From MRT to bus rides, tap and travel your way around Singapore with the EZ-Link card - the travel card that links them all! You can even use the card to make payments at selected stores.


F: This historical landmark - once a heavily fortified military site - is now a popular location for concerts and festivals.



G: Our award-winning gardens - which also houses the largest glass greenhouse in the world - is probably the only place you can hear trees 'sing'.


H: A food haven where you can taste Singapore's yummiest delights all under one roof!


I: Hear that bell? It could be the ice-cream uncle passing by! His moving stall is home to one of the nation's greatest debates: bread, or wafer?




J: Planning to jalan-jalan later? This Malay term for 'walking' also refers to going out, or taking a walk.


K: "Ka-rang gu-ni~" Often heard before he's seen, this 'rag-and-bone' man honks his horn to collect recyclable and unwanted items from residents around the estate. You might even earn a few dollars from him, based on the items and their weight!


L: Rice noodles served with prawns, fishcake and tofu puffs in a spicy curry and coconut milk broth. So sedap ('delicious' in Malay)!




M: Singapore's first reservoir in the city centre which serves as a water source and flood control. It is also a great place for kite flying or having a picnic, while enjoying stunning views of the city!


N: 9 August - the day Singaporeans come together to celebrate our nation's independence, with performances, songs and fireworks.


O: You'd hear this when National Servicemen Full-time (NSFs) complete their 2 years of National Service (NS). These NSmen are then considered 'operationally-ready' to defend our nation.



P: Pasar malams (or 'night markets' in Malay) are travelling pop-up street stalls - bringing yummy food, various knick-knacks for sale, and even carnival games to your neighbourhood!


Q: The first satellite new town in Singapore. Did you know it was named after Queen Elizabeth II? She was the Head of Commonwealth, which Singapore is a member state of.


R: The name of this local delight - a fruit and vegetable salad - literally translates as 'mixture' in Malay! It is also a term used to describe Singapore's diverse cultural mix.



S: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the National Orchid Garden, which showcases 600 species of orchids, including the Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore's national flower.                                                                           


T: This game, popular in Singapore in the 1960s-80s, means 'random pick' in Malay. One would choose a random numbered ticket from a board for a chance to win prizes.


U: Going to a place that is super isolated and out of the way? Then you're probably going somewhere ulu ('remote' or 'rural' in Malay).



V: Our national flower, named after the hybrid's cultivator: Miss Agnes Joaquim. This hardy and vibrantly coloured orchid was selected out of a total of 40 flowers, as its qualities best characterised Singapore’s spirit.


W: Grocery markets that sell fresh produce like fruits, vegetables and meat. Why 'wet market'? Because its floors are constantly wet - so watch your step when visiting!


X: Xiao Ming (or ‘小明', xiǎo míng in Mandarin) is the name of a familiar 'friend' to all Singapore school children, found most frequently in primary school textbooks and Chinese compositions.



Y: Not your typical papaya - instead, this phrase is used to describe someone who is arrogant. As in, "Just because she got first in class, doesn't mean she needs to be a yaya papaya!"


Z: An old-school game that was popular among schoolchildren. Who knew that jumping over a rubber band chain could be so challenging?


Now that you know our A-Zs - it’s time to bring your little ones through what makes Singapore unique! Be sure to print out our A-Z list here and put it up on your wall or fridge door for your little ones to look at it, or for you to read through them together.



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