"Singapore (official Republic of Singapore, English Republic of Singapore [ɹɪˈpʰʌb.lɪkʰ.əv.ˈsɪŋ.(g)ə.pʰɔː], Malay Republic of Singapore, Chinese 新加坡共和国, Pinyin Xīnjiāpō Gònghéguó, also: 新加坡 [ɕin.tɕiɑ.pʰuɔ], Tamil சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசு Ciṅkappūr Kudiyarasu) is an island and city state and the smallest state in Southeast Asia in terms of area. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Singapore ranked ninth in the Human Development Index in 2017. Singapore is one of the richest countries (and cities) in the world and one of the cities with the highest cost of living in the world. In addition, with more than eleven million foreign tourists a year, the city-state is one of the ten most visited cities in the world and, alongside Hong Kong, is Asia's most important financial centre. Singapore is a multiethnic state in which Chinese, Malay and Indians make up the largest parts of the population.
Origin of name
The name ""Singapore"" derives from Sanskrit and is composed of Singha (सिंह siṃha ""Lion"") and Pura (पुर pura ""City""), meaning Lion City.
When it was settled in the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries, the former principality was first given the name Temasek (""city by the sea""). According to legend, the Hindu prince and later ruler of Singapore Sang Nila Utama fled there from Sumatra in the 14th century. Because of his marriage to a Javanese (Buddhist) princess, he was caught in the political turmoil between the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire of Sumatra and the Hindu Majapahite Empire on Java. According to legend, the prince saw a lion in the dense jungle. He wanted to fight the lion, but they looked each other in the eye, the prince lowered his sword, and the lion withdrew. This event was so impressive for the prince that from then on he called the city ""Lion City"". Since 1964, Singapore's landmark has been Merlion, a mythical creature with a lion's head and a fish body."