YP Cadets on: what makes a country special

YP Cadets on: what makes a country special

From Singlish in Singapore, to cosmetics in South Korea, here are the reasons why certain countries are so special to our cadets


The country has one of the most unique dialects in the world, Singlish, and its people have strong national pride. Singapore is also one of the leading economies in Asia, and has huge plans for it’s future. Let me explain.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore has something called the Concept Plan, which is a strategic land use and transportation plan for the city state’s development over the next 40-50 years. It’s reviewed every ten years, and is in place to ensure there is enough proper living space, good transport infrastructure, quality education for children, and access to recreational facilities for citizens.

The plans are basically frameworks so the government can build on to offer citizens a decent quality of life, and are planned around estimated population sizes and economic growth. For example, if a certain district has 2,000 babies, the government needs to ensure, that in three years time, there are enough vacant spaces in the local kindergartens for them. If there aren’t, then the government builds more schools before they reach a school-age.

The Singapore government takes action to fix problems before they arise. That’s not the case in so many other countries, where the people in charge react to problems. Everything is planned in advance in Singapore. This makes the city-state super sustainable and makes it super special.

Amanjot Kaur

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G’day, mate! One of the things that makes this country unique is the slang Aussies use to sound more casual and approachable. A lot of their slang is adapted and shortened from English, or from words used by the Aborigines.

A lot of Australian English slang shortens words and adds the suffix “-ie” – like changing “Australian” to “Aussie”, or using “barbie” instead of “barbecue”. I really like this sort of slang, because it makes the people who use it come across as super friendly.

Traditional tools used by Australian Aboriginal people.
Photo: Heidi Yeung/SCMP

It’s not just the slang that makes Australia special – the indigenous art and Aboriginal culture has a lot to do with it too. I once went to a souvenir shop in Cairns, Australia, where they sold boomerangs, T-shirts and colourful indigenous artwork, which was stunning to see. Their artwork consists of a lot of intricate dots, is primarily red, purple and yellow, and is full of symbolism.

Then, of course, there’s also the native wildlife. Australia is home to all sorts of creatures, from koalas, to kookaburras. Australia is such an isolated region, and unconnected to any other landmass, that there are many creatures here that can’t be found any where else in the world. This country is truly one-of-a-kind.

Charmaine Chang

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South Korea

Hong Kong’s not the only placed inhabited by workaholics, this whole country is filled with them – meaning South Korea is a country that never sleeps. You probably already know, but the country is famous for really good skincare products and cosmetics. This is because they’re not afraid to experiment with ingredients, and will use snail mucus and bee venom. It’s not just the women who care about their skin – men are equally as likely to be buying and wearing things like BB cream and moisturising cream.

And is it just me, or are Koreans really good at dancing? Lots of boy bands and girl groups are excellent at dancing as well as singing, like the boy group SEVENTEEN, who have a sub-unit (like a group within a group) called the Performance Team who come up with the choreography for their songs. K-pop groups film a lot of dance studio videos, where they practice their super slick moves.

There’s also something else that South Korea is famous for – being the “the capital of plastic surgery”. According to the Daily Mail, one in five women in South Korea have gone under the knife. Lots of South Koreans have plastic surgery on their noses or their eyelids to attain the “ideal” beauty look – small faces, large eyes, and cute button noses. You know what’s shocking? When school kids turn 16, they can be gifted money for plastic surgery by their parents. Where else in the world does that happen regularly?

Eunice Yip

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Talk about one of the most artistic places in the world! From the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, to the Arc de Triomphe, the country really is as pretty as a picture.

France is home to places like the Le Château du Clos Lucé – Parc Leonardo da Vinci building in Amboise, a town in central France’s Loire Valley. Leonardo Da Vinci lived there from 1516 until his death in 1519, and once said: “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.” He must have loved that place a lot to have lived there until his death.


Have you heard of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon? It’s the name of a famous painting by Pablo Picasso, whose title translates as “The Young Ladies of Avignon”. I’d love to be able to go to the French city and work on my own version of the painting.

Brittany is a region in the north-west of France, and I have a friend who is also called Brittany. She’s bright, cheerful and lively, and she makes me wonder if the region is just as nice as she is. I’d love to go and visit to find out if it is! I guess I better start saving now if I want to know for sure though – flights to France aren’t exactly cheap.

Martha Lai

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Sawadikap (that’s “hello” in Thai)! I Whenever I think of Thailand, I can’t help but use Thai. I think my appreciation for the language dates back to when I went there for a summer. I probably fell in love with the language when I was standing in the middle of a vibrant market watching vendors and customers haggling over goods.

Before I went to Thailand, if you asked what I thought about the country, I would have maybe mentioned cultural ruins like Sukhothai and Ayuthaya, and maybe places like Bangkok, and that there’s good food. Now, I’d say there’s so much more to Thailand. It’s the rich language the Thais speak that makes the country special. I’d listen to people speak in Thai all day long if I could.

Thai people put “Pee-” in front of a person’s name when addressing them to show their respect for someone older. They use “Nong-” for people younger than them.

If you ever find yourself in Thailand, visit a few local markets – don’t just hit up all of the tourist sites. That way you’ll soak up all of that beautiful Thai culture, and hear their amazing language. Kapun kap! That means “have a nice day”.

Jessie Larbi

Edited by Ginny Wong

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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