OPENING CASE: Singapore: One of the World’s Most Multicultural Places
QUESTION 1: The United States is often referred to as being a melting pot of cultures. How is it different from Singapore? In your opinion, is the melting pot of cultures in the United States seen as a good thing? How does it compare to Singapore?
QUESTION 2: How does Singapore manage to attract so many foreign companies? What influence do these foreign companies have on its culture?
QUESTION 3: Singapore’s Board of Tourism proclaims that “Singapore is where cultures, religions, and even passions meet.” How does Singapore’s diversity promote further diversity? Could other countries follow in Singapore’s footsteps? Discuss.
CLOSING CASE: China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
QUESTION 1: When Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill coined the acronym BRIC in 2001 to refer to Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the focus was to highlight the immense collective economic potential of these countries. Since that time, China and Russia have influenced the international marketplace in political ways as well. How do you think these four countries—or a subset of them—will likely influence the world’s cultures in the next 10 years?
QUESTION 2: Anyone who has been to Hong Kong typically says it is different from mainland China, more like Singapore, albeit with a strong connection to China. Do you think Hong Kong will become more like China in the next few years, or will China leverage Hong Kong as an asset to engage more capitalistically in the international marketplace instead?
QUESTION 3: Macau was under Portuguese influence until 1999, which is not that long ago. Many in Macau welcomed the Chinese takeover so that the area could be better taken care of (e.g., infrastructure, economy). But being part of the Portuguese administration from 1887 to 1999 clearly has imbued their cultural values and beliefs in the mindset of Macau’s citizens. How are these values and beliefs likely to influence the Macau–China relationship in the years to come?
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