Singapore

Emotional deficit strikes Singapore

'Fun City' it ain't, survey claims

Singapore, November 2012, photo (c) John Tranter
Singapore, November 2012, photo (c) John Tranter

More about Singapore in South-east Asia, where I recently enjoyed the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival:

Thanks to Singapore’s strength in finance, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and other industries, its economy almost doubled in 10 years, making the country of 5.3 million people one of the world’s wealthiest, with per-capita gross domestic product of $33,530.

Fun City it ain’t. U.S. pollster Gallup conducts surveys in more than 140 countries to compare how people feel about their lives. Singapore ranks as the most emotionless society in the world, beating out Georgia, Lithuania, and Russia. Singaporeans are unlikely to report feelings of anger, physical pain, or other negative emotions. They’re not laughing a lot, either. “If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world,” says Jon Clifton, a Gallup partner in Washington. “But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well.” [from Bloomberg Businessweek]

Singapore Writers Festival 2012

Literature on the Equator

Art work: Yuree Kensaku: "The Killer from Electricity Authority" (detail), 2009
Art work: Yuree Kensaku: "The Killer from Electricity Authority" (detail), 2009, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore. Photo John Tranter. Other photos of Singapore at night by the well-known 'unknown photographer'. «Blade Runner» photos courtesy of «Blade Runner».

Just back from the Singapore Writers Festival 2012. A busy week, with multicultural literary insights interspersed with varied culinary delights. Singapore is the acme and ne plus ultra of shopping and cooking, as the closing debate of the Festival agreed, and Orchard Road at night, the premium shopping area, outdoes the scene in «Blade Runner» where the Harrison Ford character eats at a roadside stall, surrounded by milling throngs and lit by the glare of dozens of huge video advertisements.

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