Singaporean cuisine is diverse and is influenced by several ethnic groups, as a result of its history as a seaport with a large immigrant population. Influences include the cuisines of Malaysian, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Western, Sri Lankan, Thai and also the Middle Eastern.
In Singapore, food is viewed as crucial to national identity as a unifying cultural thread. Food is a frequent topic of conversation among Singaporeans. Religious dietary strictures do exist; Muslims do not eat pork and Hindus do not eat beef, and there is also a significant group of vegetarians. People from different communities often eat together, while being mindful of each other's culture and choosing food that is acceptable for all.