This made my day: Chinese granny offers Malay neighbour 'tang yuan', explains meaning of winter solstice

PHOTO: TikTok/Chefbob.sg

Remember Chef Bob and Nenek Cina (Chinese grandmother)

Their heartwarming neighbourly relationship continues, this time into winter solstice, a Chinese festival that Chef Bob — a local celebrity chef and TV personality whose real name is Shahrizal Salleh — has just learnt about from Nenek Cina.

On Monday (Jan 3), he uploaded a TikTok video which showed Nenek Cina offering prayers outside her home. 

@chefbob.sg Reply to @sherrykohtan ♬ original sound - Chef Bob

Curious as to what the occasion was, he asked her, who explained in Malay that it was winter solstice. 

He added in the video that Atok Cina (Chinese grandfather) also told him that it was the first day of winter. 

"But here all hot la uncle," Chef Bob said to Nenek Cina's husband, Atok Cina, referencing Singapore's tropical climate. 

The winter solstice festival, or dongzhi, usually falls between Dec 21 to 23, and is a time where Chinese families gather together and offer prayers to their ancestors

During this time, 'tang yuan' — glutinous rice balls cooked in sugared water — is also eaten, to symbolise reunion. 

In the spirit of dongzhi, Nenek Cina also offered Chef Bob a serving of 'tang yuan', along with a packet of sugar and crushed peanuts. She told him to coat the rice ball with the sugar and peanut before eating it. 

The sweet treat earned a seal of approval from the Chef, who can be heard remarking "Shiok!" after tasting the tang yuan. 

Wanting to return Nenek Cina's favour, Chef Bob ended off the video by asking his followers to provide some suggestions about what he should get Nenek Cina and her family for the upcoming Chinese New Year. 

The heartwarming exchange between the two neighbours has since racked up more than 250,000 views and almost 900 comments from netizens who clearly loved the neighbours' friendly relationship.

Previously, both neighbours have also exchanged gifts and greetings during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, where Chef Bob's son, Umar, greeted Nenek Cina with oranges. In return, Nenek Cina gave the family some cute trinkets for Hari Raya. 

ALSO READ: This made my day: VivoCity Kopitiam manager treats pregnant woman who had no cash to lunch

claudiatan@asiaone.com

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.