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WATCH: Singaporeans should be proud of being kiasu

A uniquely Singaporean passion made possible

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By SG-Promoted | Oct 26, 2017

  • WATCH: Singaporeans should be proud of being kiasu

One of the few defining characteristics of us Singaporeans is our constant striving to be ahead of everyone else, to be first (whether in an examination or a snaking queue for confectionery), and to make sure we don’t lose out to others. It’s simply known colloquially as being kiasu—a word the Oxford English Dictionary defines as ‘a grasping, selfish attitude’.

Such a core trait of our national identity certainly warrants closer inspection and debate, and that is exactly what we have done. We spoke to people on the streets, asked aunties and uncles what they thought, and even got professional kiasuism debaters from the upcoming Singapore Writers Festival to tell us what they think about being so kiasu.


For more discussion on kiasuism, be sure to head to the closing debate, This House Believes That Kiasuism Is A Good Singaporean Trait, held at the Victoria Theatre on Nov 12 as part of the Singapore Writers Festival, taking place over two weeks from Nov 3-12.

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