Love for Culture: 15 novelty products for Expats in Singapore - SpectrumStore SG

Settling down in a new country can be daunting, especially when everything, from the buildings to the language, feels foreign. As expat families embark on their Singaporean adventure, they often arrive with minimal furniture and a touch of homesickness. But fret not, dear friends, for we've curated a list of delightful novelty items that will not only cure those pangs of longing but also add a bright and joyous touch to your new home!



1. Kopibag Mug by Red Republic

Ah, kopi - a quintessential piece of Singapore living! As soon as you touch down, you would have seen the many variations of coffee and tea available in hawker centers near your home. While this is not out of the ordinary, what would really shock you is that every beverage we have here for takeaway comes in a plastic bag!

If you found this takeaway product hard to drink from, check out this ingenious mug designed to hold your takeaway kopi for easier use. Yes, you don’t need to fumble about transferring your drink to another mug! Plus, the mug’s ceramic build keeps your coffee hot as you go on with your morning. Kopi cheers! 



2. Coin Pouch - Blue Gem Biscuit by Nom Nom Plush

If you have children, this nifty coin pouch would be their cute sidekick for their new adventures here! For our little ones, coins are the currency of convenience for everything from snacks to public transportation. 

This gem of a pouch is a practical addition to their school kit! They can effortlessly separate their coins from bills, keeping their actual wallets neat and light. The handy keychain also lets them attach it to their bag, making sure it's always within reach. And the cherry on top? Its design is based on the iced gem biscuit snack that's popular among children in Singapore! 

Check out our other pouch products from Nom Nom Plush!



3. Merlion Chou Chou (Kissing) by Red Republic

The adorable Merlion Chou Chou offers a little piece of Singaporean culture that's sure to bring comfort to your little ones as they settle into their new home here in the little red dot. You see, every Singaporean child has had their very own Chou Chou, a cherished comfort item that is always by their side and that they grow up with all the way to adulthood.


As the iconic symbol of Singapore, the Merlion stands tall and proud, just like the new friendships your child will make in this city. This cuddly toy will undoubtedly become their trusty companion, offering snuggles and reassurance during those moments of homesickness. It will also be a lovely introduction to the rich tapestry of Singaporean culture and its beloved landmarks. 

P.S. Turn up its cuteness level by pairing it with a traditional Kebaya attire! 


4. Mint Choco Chip Cushion by OK CAN/MEYRS

This oh-so-comfy cushion is more than just a decorative piece; it's a reminder of those unique street ice cream sandwiches, a chilly and affordable dessert savored on warm Singaporean afternoons. With this cushion, you're bringing a dash of the Lion City's street food charm right into your own home. 

If mint ice cream isn't your thing, we have an assortment of other Singaporean snack cushions like the Biscuit Gem, Ang Ku Kueh, Peng Kueh, and Fishball that's sure to wow your local friends when they come over for the first time!



5. Swimming Merlion Ice Cube Tray by LOVE SG

Dive further into Singapore’s vibrant culture with this fun Merlion Ice Cube Tray - adding a splash of local charm in your drinks! This ice cube tray not only gives a touch of cuteness to your freezer but also brings you closer to the heart of Singapore culture. 

Picture this: You invite your newfound local friends over for a little gathering and to their surprise, you pull out some well-done Singapore Slings with tiny swimming Merlions! It's the perfect icebreaker (pun intended!) to share stories about your experiences in Singapore and bond over your shared love for this charming island. 


6. Good Morning Doormat by Red Republic 

Step into each day with a warm "Good Morning" welcome, courtesy of this quirky Good Morning Doormat - an inviting touch of Singaporean culture right at your doorstep! This doormat is more than just a practical accessory though; it's a symbol of the vibrant Asian hospitality that resonates strongly in Singapore. You see, the iconic "Good Morning" greeting has a special place in the hearts of many, especially among hawker chefs who proudly don it as they serve us our favorite dishes.

And if you have children or pets, you might also enjoy this cheeky High Voltage Doormat that would warn your incoming visitors of the chaos ahead! It’s based on the yellow danger signs we see on construction sites nationwide and gives a comical touch to your usual doormats. 


7. Recipe Plates Nasi Lemak by Red Republic

Indulge your inner foodie with the Recipe Plates collection by Red Republic - the perfect blend of delectable cuisine and modern design, all served up on a plate! As they say, the key to immersing yourself in a new culture is through its food, and what better way to do so than with the iconic Nasi Lemak right at your dining table?

This plate not only boasts a delightful Nasi Lemak recipe but also showcases a contemporary design that's sure to charm your taste buds and your eyes. For all the home cooks out there, this is your ticket to recreating a beloved Singaporean dish right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

For other recipes, check out the full collection of Recipe Plates here


8. Door Hanger Lah/Leh by Red Republic

As your family settles into the way of life here, you'll notice that these iconic Singlish particles "Lah" and "Leh" eventually become a part of everyday conversation, adding that distinctive Singaporean charm to your interactions.

This door hanger is perfect for your children. Not only does it serve a practical purpose of letting others know if you're busy or need some privacy, but it's also a playful way to embrace the local lingo and cultural nuances. It's like a secret code or new language that your kids will love using with their newfound friends and classmates, further integrating them into Singaporean culture. 

Keep privacy intrusion at bay, Singaporean style. Here is another iconic urban signage converted into a fun door hanger - the Danger Area Door Hanger


9. One Degree North: Sentosa Coasters (Set of 4) by Kelly Ser Atelier 

The One Degree North collection is inspired by Singapore cities and remarkable landmarks, each holding its own story and significance to the Lion City. These beautiful coasters are more than just functional drink holders; they're artistic masterpieces that showcase the soul of Singapore's iconic neighborhoods, where many expats find their home.

Crafted from wood and adorned with Kelly Ser's stunning artwork, these luxurious coasters elevate your home interior with a touch of beauty and creativity. For those who appreciate quality and artistic flair, these coasters are a must-have addition to your living space. 



10. Orchid Dish by Red Republic

Elevate your dining experience with this exquisite Orchid Dish - a stunning and minimalistic addition that will add a touch of elegance to your dinners in your new Singaporean home. Orchids are a special symbol and flower in Singapore, as the national flower is based on the Vanda Miss Joaquim, a type of hybrid orchid that’s unique here!

This flower-shaped saucer is ingeniously designed to pair with the petal chopstick rest, fitting seamlessly on top during storage and adding a touch of style to your meals. 



11. Otah Pencil Case by Nom Nom Plush

This Otah Pencil Case is a plushy and high-quality companion that's sure to make a cool statement for schooling kids and young adults alike! Let's face it, school days can sometimes feel a bit boring, but with this pencil case by their side, it adds a fun and unique touch to brighten up their day.

Crafted with soft materials and inspired by a local dish called Otah, this pencil case is more than just a functional stationery holder - it's a conversation starter and a unique expression of Singaporean culture. Your kids will love showing it off to their friends, sparking curiosity about the exotic flavors of Singapore's local cuisine. 

If you’re an Otah lover but don’t really have a need for this case, we gotchu! Check out this adorable Otah Keychain from Nom Nom Plush.

12. Jiu Ceng Gao Agar Agar Door Stopper Set by Red Republic

Dear foodies and home cooks, say hello to the adorable Agar Agar Door Stopper - a cute and uniquely designed door stopper that adds a delightful touch of Singaporean culture to your home! Locals in Singapore take great delight in the traditional dessert known as Jiu Ceng Gao or Steamed Kueh Lapis, a colorful nine-layered sticky cake that’s an affordable and tasty snack loved by people of all ages!

And now, this sweet treat has been transformed into a charming door stopper, making it a one-of-a-kind addition to your living space. With its playful design and cultural significance, this door stopper is sure to be a conversation starter among guests, allowing you to share the story of this beloved dessert and the rich heritage of Singapore.




13. Banmian Panas Short Sleeve T-shirt by Wee Tee Shirt 

The local brand, Wee Tee Shirt, has a whole collection of Singaporean food puns based on popular clothing stores, and let's be honest, Singaporeans adore a good laugh, especially when it comes to their favorite subjects - food and luxury brands!

With these punny t-shirts, you're not just donning a comfortable piece of clothing; you're wearing a shared sense of humor that instantly connects you with locals. Imagine wearing this Banmian Panas tee while you go get your favorite banmian noodles at the hawker center - the uncle or aunty would surely have a good laugh with you!



14. Gate Trivet by Red Republic

This charming and unique kitchen tool is inspired by the vintage scissor metal gates that were once a common sight in olden-day shophouses. While these gates may have faded from the bustling cityscape, their beauty and significance remain alive in this minimal yet eye-catching trivet.

As an expat home cook, this trivet becomes more than just a functional kitchen accessory; it's a piece of nostalgia and cultural homage to the rich history of Singapore. The design's elegance lies in its simplicity, making it a standout piece that complements any kitchen decor. 



15. Papermarket SG Papercraft Kits 8 X 8 - Makan Makan by Papermarket

Last but not the least, this paper craft kit from Papermarket is the perfect creative addition for families who love to print out their cherished family pictures. Whether it's a snapshot of your first adventure to a hawker center or a treasured moment by the iconic Merlion, these papercraft kits offer a delightful way to personalize your family pictures and showcase your love for Singapore.

The kits are brimming with unique craft elements that will jazz up any picture frame, like stickers, cardstocks, and patterned papers, transforming it into a work of art that's as special as the memories it holds. As an expat family, this is your chance to embrace the beauty and culture of Singapore in every aspect of your home, including your furniture. 



Adding Joy to Your Singaporean Journey

We hope these handpicked products bring a dash of Singaporean charm and comfort to your expat journey. From whimsical trinkets to cultural delights, may each item remind you of the vibrant experiences that await in the Lion City. Our team at Spectrum is here to make your new life in Singapore a bright and joyful one, with novelty items that celebrate the essence of your newfound home! Come on down to our novelty store in Suntec City to check out more of our lifestyle products and collection of unique gifts.

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