Auntie Gives Malay Chef Tangyuan For Winter Solstice, Neighbourly Ties Continue To Inspire S’poreans

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Chinese Auntie Gives Tang Yuan To Malay Neighbour Chef Bob

During the Winter Solstice Festival, many Chinese folks would pray in gratitude and seek blessings for the coming year.

On Monday (3 Jan), Mr Shahrizal Salleh – the celebrity chef better known as Chef Bob – shared an encounter with his Chinese neighbours during the festival on TikTok.

Reply to @sherrykohtan We learn something new daily.

♬ original sound – Chef Bob – Chef Bob

That day, he caught sight of an elderly couple praying with joss sticks and asked them what the occasion was.

In the heartwarming video, the couple explained it was Winter Solstice and even gave him tang yuan.

Uncle explains it is Winter Solstice

At the start of the video, Chef Bob says he smells something burning.

He soon realises his neighbour, whom he affectionately refers to as “nenek cina” – Chinese granny in Malay  praying outside.

Curious, Chef Bob asks her what she is doing.

The auntie replies that she is performing Chinese prayers before letting him know she has some tang yuan back at home.


Later, his other elderly neighbour, whom Chef Bob calls his “Atok Cina” – or “Chinese grandpa” – explains that Winter Solstice is the first day of winter.


Chef Bob even shares a joke with him, laughingly saying, “Here all hot la, uncle”.

Chef Bob receives tang yuan from auntie

The video then cuts to the auntie standing at Chef Bob’s doorstep with a container in hand.

tang yuans neighbourSource

She shares instructions on how to eat the food as she hands the container over to him.

As Chef Bob pours the food into a bowl, the auntie tells him that these are tang yuan.

tang yuans neighbourSource

He tasted the soup, sighing in contentment before diligently listening to the auntie and coating the tang yuan with the bag of peanut crumbs and sugar.

Chef Bob then gobbles down the tang yuan and exclaims “shiok“.

tang yuans neighbourSource

At the conclusion of his TikTok video, Chef Bob addresses his followers, asking them for gift ideas to surprise his “nenek cina” during Chinese New Year.

Chef Bob & neighbour often have heartwarming exchanges

This incident is not Chef Bob’s first heartwarming encounter with his “nenek cina“.

Throughout the years that his family has lived in their Pasir Ris flat, she has been showering them with gifts on special occasions like Hari Raya.

Auntie Gives Neighbour Hari Raya Gifts & Ang Pao, Shows Racial Harmony Is Still Alive In S’pore

The kind auntie also seeks permission whenever she places an altar in front of her flat, such as during the Hungry Ghost Festival.

In turn, Chef Bob also returns her kindness, often giving her goodies during Chinese festivals.

Last Chinese New Year, he and his son visited the auntie to bai nian, with gifts in hand.

Malay Father & Son Bai Nian With Auntie Next Door, She Returns With Angbaos & Snacks

Heartening to see such kampung spirit

Many often lament that Singapore has lost its kampung spirit of neighbourliness.

But Chef Bob and his “nenek cina” have certainly shown us that the spirit is alive and well. All it takes is some kindness and effort on our part.

Hopefully, this will inspire more Singaporeans to foster such friendships with their neighbours.

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Featured image adapted from on TikTok.

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