Next-Door Auntie Has Been Giving Neighbours Hari Raya Gifts Every Year Since They Moved In
In recent days, Singapore’s treasured multiracialism had taken a hit after reports of alleged racist attacks.
The incident was condemned by ministers. It was even brought up in Parliament, with warnings that racism will become normalised if we’re not careful.
However, on Hari Raya Aidilfitri, we got wind of a hearwarming tale that convinces us that racial harmony still exists in Singapore.
A Chinese auntie gave her neighbours Hari Raya gifts, and this is apparently a regular thing. This time, she even included an ang pao.
Now, her lucky neighbours are plotting to give her something back – and it has to be good.
Watch the entire video here:
Reply to @chefbob.sg The Nenek cina saga part 3. Nenek cina play rough sia. #HariRaya2021
Neighbour sends gifts 3 days before Hari Raya
On Wednesday (12 May), Mr Shahrizal Salleh – a celebrity chef known who also goes by Chef Bob – uploaded a TikTok video.
He told his followers that 3 days before Hari Raya, his family received a paper bag containing gifts from their neighbour, affectionately called “nenek cina” – or “Chinese granny”.
This happened after he uploaded last year’s video, he said.
In case you may not know, these families have a happy history of celebrating each other’s holidays.
Happy history of sharing joy
Though they couldn’t visit or even shake hands as it was the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period, Mr Shahrizal exclaimed “I love you” numerous times as the auntie returned to her flat.
On Chinese New Year this year, he returned the favour by going bai nian with the auntie, giving her gifts and oranges.
She returned bearing gifts including an ang pao for the boy and snacks like love letters.
According to Mr Shahrizal, the auntie has been giving his family gifts every Hari Raya since he moved into his Pasir Ris flat.
Besides that, she would also seek permission from them every Hungry Ghost Festival before placing an altar in front of her flat.
Pictures taken in 2017.
Cool gifts for Hari Raya 2021
This year, auntie had some cool gifts in store for Hari Raya.
Laying them out on the table, Mr Shahrizal marvelled that they were all individually wrapped.
Firstly, he opened a bouquet of pretty yellow flowers.
Next was a modern sculpture of 2 cats, which seemed of particular delight to his son.
Lastly, they uncovered a beautiful green vase for the flowers.
Not only were the gifts thoughtful, they were tasteful too. Good job, auntie!
There was also an ang pao, which Mr Shahrizal told his son would be for him.
Chef Bob still loves auntie
Mr Shahrizal then proceeded to thank his neighbour, who happened to be outside, smiling through her mask.
And as his usual practice, he added a “wo ai ni” (love you).
He’s seeking suggestions on what to give auntie
Mr Shahrizal jokingly told his followers that he “underestimated” auntie, who has outdone herself this year.
He also said he was “pissed off” – because he didn’t see her gifts coming.
It’s a better love story than Twilight, he exclaimed.
He now wants to “go big” and is now asking netizens to comment on his video to suggest what he can give back to her in return.
Warmth for the festive season
Many neighbours in Singapore don’t really know one another well, apart from cursory nods in the corridor.
However, the heartwarming friendliness that Mr Shahrizal and his neighbour have is really the gift that keeps on giving.
While Hari Raya this year is comparatively quiet, nenek cina shows that it doesn’t have to be short on warmth.
It also goes to show that though Singaporeans are currently going through a rough patch with Covid-19, we don’t have to let it get us down – rather, any kind gesture will mean so much more.
Racial harmony in Singapore is alive and well, and may it live long and spread.
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Featured images adapted from TikTok.
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