Tampines resident & 83-year-old neighbour are like family, they decorate estate for festivities like CNY together

Tampines resident calls neighbour ‘grandma’, they look out for each other

Four years ago, Tampines resident Abdullah Abdul Rahman went to live with relatives temporarily after his father’s passing. Upon returning, he realised that other residents including his elderly neighbour Madam Teo Gek Joo, Diana had helped to keep the area around his house clean while he was away.

As a show of gratitude to them, Mr Abdullah and his brother decided to put up Chinese New Year (CNY) decorations in the estate.

Since then, more residents have joined in the initiative to beautify the estate for various festivals throughout the year.

Mr Abdullah and 83-year-old Madam Teo — whom he affectionately calls Auntie Diana — also remain close, with the former calling the latter his ‘grandma’.

Neighbours helped keep area clean when man moved out temporarily

According to a People’s Association (PA) video capturing the wholesome relationship between neighbours, Tampines Changkat grassroots leader Abdullah Bin Abdul Rahman “brings Chinatown to Tampines Changkat” every year.

Explaining how the initiative came about, Mr Abdullah said that it started after his neighbours kept his home clean while he was away four years ago. At that time, he had moved out temporarily to stay with his sister for a month after their father’s passing.

To thank the neighbours, Mr Abdullah and his brother decorated the area for CNY.

tampines grandma decorations

Source: People’s Association on Facebook

Since then, decorating the estate for various festivals has become a tradition for him, with the help of neighbours and even residents from other estates.

Among the people who actively show up to help is 83-year-old Madam Teo, whom Mr Abdullah affectionately calls ‘Auntie Diana’

Tampines resident sees elderly neighbour as his ‘grandma’

Their bond is so close that Mr Abdullah sees Auntie Diana as his grandmother, while she sees him as her grandson.

The former claims that the latter drives him to “do a lot more”, and adds that he would not know “how to function” without her.

“She’s someone who I really appreciate,” he said in the video, eyes welling up with tears.

tampines grandma decorations

Source: People’s Association on Facebook

He recalled: “When my mum was around, she would always give my mum cookies and cakes.”

There were also instances when Mr Abdullah helped Auntie Diana as well.

The 83-year-old recalled suffering a fall, which resulted in her needing to stay in the hospital for two months.

“After I was discharged, Abdullah helped me with everything. I look for him whenever I need help,” Auntie Diana said.

Now that Mr Abdullah’s mother has passed, Auntie Diana has stepped in to help look after him and his brother.

Residents want to inspire other estates through decorations

For this year’s CNY festivities, Mr Abdullah specially put up a one-metre-long dragon decoration, which another neighbour donated, in honour of Auntie Diana, who was born in the year of the dragon.

“Every single [decoration] you will see is done by the residents themselves, so everything has a story.”

Source: People’s Association on Facebook

He continued: “When they walk by, they will be very happy. And when their grandchildren walk by, they’ll say ‘Oh, my grandma did this!'”

The effort that the residents put into decorating for every festival comes on top of other community initiatives in Tampines Changkat, such as a community fridge.

The Tampines Changkat residents hope that their efforts will inspire other estates to contribute to their communities.

Commenting on Mr Abdullah’s hard work, Auntie Diana said: “We are very happy a young man is here to help us. We are very grateful to him.”

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Featured image adapted from People’s Association on Facebook

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