What is our SG Indian identity?

What defines us as Singapore Indians?

What defines us as Singapore Indians?


Culturally we are very different from Indians who hail from the subcontinent. Especially those of us born in Singapore and who have spent our entire lives here.


As a minority one would think that we will be more united as a result. Unfortunately that is far from true. At slightly less than 10%, we are the smallest ethnic community in Singapore, and sometimes it seems we are the most divided – perhaps because of our diversity.


Beyond the tacit acknowledgement that we are all descended from the subcontinent, is there anything in the form of values or cultural attributes that really binds and should unify us?


There are indeed certain discernible values and character attributes that we as Indians either consciously or unconsciously espouse – values such as respect for our parents and for those who are older than us, our willingness to embrace diversity, tolerance, basic respect for all living things, a sense of duty, an ability to think laterally on stuff.


Do we need to perhaps codify these values somewhere so that we don’t lose touch of who we are as a people?

Comment on this Topic


  1. As a true citizen and a true singaporean, we should stay united. Very important is choose good leader.

  2. Easier said than done. Practically speaking, India is actually not one country, after all… is it any surprise we in Singapore behave like we are from thousand different tribes?

  3. SG Indian identity. An interesting subject. Diversity is the word and even, India is struggling with diversity and identity. Frankly, it is more important to unit as a nation with influx of ‘new” citizens. The SG Indians have their established identity. It is the newer Indian Singaporeans who have to embrace the SG way instead of, segregating into another group identifying from which state they migrated from.

    That in my view is the new nation building.