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Stroll along the streets, board a bus or take a ride on the MRT trains and you will meet with the Chinese, the Malays and the Indians, some of whom, because of their headdress, can be recognized as Sikhs. All are Singaporeans, however.Today, the Chinese, the Malays and the Indians had made up 78%, 14% and 7% respectively of a total population of just over 3 million. Rounding of the figure to 100 are the other ethic groups, which include the Arabs and Jews, Caucasians, Eurasians and Japanese. Despite the different backgrounds that people of Singapore come from, all of them regard themselves as Singaporeans.
More than 40% of the Chinese are Hokkien while nearly 25% are Teochew. Cantonese take up 17%, Hainanese and Hakka each make up 7%, and about 2% are Foochows. Today, these different groups all mix freely, largely because of constant government campaigns urging all Chinese to speak one language: Mandarin.
The Malays originally came to Singapore from the Malay Peninsula and the islands of the Indonesian Archipelago, while the majority of the Indians are Tamils from the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India but there are also Gujeratis, Sindhis, Bengalis, and Sikhs from the north and also includes Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans.
The Peranakans are a small group with culture, cuisine and style of traditional costume all their own. They are actually the descendants of men from the Chinese mainland and Malay native women who intermarried long ago.
Eurasians, whose number is about 250,000, are attempting to retain their identity while remaining full-blooded Singaporeans. They have successfully been classified as "Eurasian", rather than being categorised with all the "Other"(minorities) in official classification.
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