While I yearn to travel and discover far off places, I’ve also found the need to explore my own country, and introduce a lesser known side of Singapore to the world. So while I was doing a little fact-checking on Abu Dhabi for my Unholies in UAE posts, wikipedia also informed me that Abu Dhabi was twinned with 10 cities in total, a pretty illustrious list from all over the world including Madrid (Spain), Brisbane (Australia), Houston (USA) and Jakarta (Indonesia).
What are Twin / Sister Cities?
Now I wasn’t particularly familiar with the concept of Town Twinning and Sister Cities, other than seeing the occasional signboard put up in a random town to tell you who its twins/sisters are. I’d always assumed it was a tourism thing and a matter of maintaining good international relationships.
Here’s what wikipedia had to say on that… So, my initial thoughts were not completely off base: in short, the concept of Town Twinning and Sister Cities is usually to promote cross-cultural ties and often commercial ties as well, and more well known in the US and Europe where besides international twinning, they often have towns twinned within the country that share strong trade ties or collaborative projects. .
That got me wondering…
Which are Singapore’s Sister Cities?
An intense search (ok, wikipedia and google) say that Singapore’s sister cities are…
Johor Bahru, Malaysia and Batam, Indonesia
* crickets *
Is that it? That was fairly anti-climatic for me… somehow I thought that Singapore would have more sister cities, and a more international list beyond neighbouring cities less than an hour’s commute away from us. But perhaps it’s enough for us to have friendly diplomatic and commercial ties with other countries, no need to twin ourselves? I welcome comments from anyone who’s more well-versed in topics like this to educate us all!
Well, the catchphrase of our local sitcom star and erstwhile construction worker Phua Chu Kang, “Best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam!” now makes perfect sense!
International Readers, do you know who your home cities/towns are twinned with? Has it made any impact, whatsoever, on you or your hometown?