East Meets West in Singapore
Singapore's apt Sanskrit name was prescient -- "simha" (lion) "pura" (city). "Singapura" the lion city, roared into modern times, becoming one of the Asian Tigers during the 1960's and '70s. This little city-state measures just 31 miles east to west and 26 miles north to south, but is an amalgamation of cultures, including Malay, Chinese, English, Arab, and Indian. When it was colonized by England in 1819, Singapore's population was 1,000 mostly-Malay people. By 1869, the population had swelled to 100,000 as Singapore's free trading port attracted Arab, Chinese and Indian merchants and immigrants from China and India flocked to Malay rubber plantations and tin mines. I offer this little history lesson for context. In less than 200 years, this swampy island has transformed into a global economic powerhouse and cultural melting pot. It is pioneering mindful, sustainable development practices and its skyline is visible proof that growth and prosperity can be achieved without sacrificing the environment.