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Celebrating Year of Ox differently but happily

Five CCK seniors share their favourite Chinese New Year (CNY) shopping haunts in their neighbourhoods and their celebration plans to welcome the lunar new year.

Mrs Peramaisuari M. from Chua Chu Kang estate 

Favourite spot: Sintolee Confectioner at Block 144 at Teck Whye Lane

Her family might be Hindu but Chinese New Year is a big affair for Mrs Peramaisuari M. Why? Because of her Peranakan Indian heritage. In fact, her daughter speaks Mandarin fluently, having taken Chinese as second language in school.

For Chinese New Year this year, Mrs Peramaisuari, affectionately known as Mrs Sue to her friends, is thankful for the lights and decorations that Chua Chu Kang Town Council has put up her in neighbourhood. She said that when the lights come in the evening, her estate becomes very beautiful.

“They make the mood so much more festive and bring the old folks a lot of joy,” said Mrs Sue, adding that her husband’s grandmother spent a long time admiring the lights one evening from their home windows.

Mrs Sue will be whipping up her own reunion dinner with dishes such as chicken curry and more. And she will be doing her CNY shopping within the neighbourhood stores around Teck Whye. “No need to travel or carry very far”, she said. 

Traditional CNY goodies like bak kwa and pineapple tarts are must have for her. And Sintolee Confectioner is one of her favourite bakeries which she has been shopping for over 20 years. 

Mdm Chua Siok Eng from Brickland estate

Favourite spot: Keat Hong Shopping Centre

Instead of jetting overseas for her annual vacation with her husband, Mdm Chua will be cooking up a storm this Chinese New Year.

Previously, she would usually have reunion dinner with her children in advance so that her husband and she can take advantage of the extended CNY public holidays to go overseas.

Since she is not travelling, she has invited her family for the usual steamboat reunion on CNY Eve.

“You can get everything you need from fresh groceries to banana leaf wrapped nian gao from Keat Hong Shopping Centre. Otherwise, the provision shops downstairs are very well stocked too. There is no need to go very far to get anything,” said Mdm Chua in Mandarin.

Mdm Koo Moi Lan, Bukit Gombak estate

Favourite spot: Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre

With a huge extended family, Mdm Koo said she will need to plan how to celebrate safely this year. Like most Singaporean families, CNY reunion dinner will be steamboat.

With two supermarkets as well as other HDB shops selling everything from fresh meat and vegetables to snacks nearby, she said she can do her shopping easily without having to leave the estate.

Mdm Ling Geck Hiok from Hong Kah North estate

Favourite spot: Bukit Gombak Neighbourhood Centre

Reunion dinner will be a smaller affair this year with fewer members coming by her home, said Mdm Ling.

Besides stocking up on fresh seafood from Jurong Fishery, where her husband used to work, she will be looking at frozen options too as she’s anticipating a shortage and higher prices due to the recent bad weather. A wise move!

Mdm Doris Cheong from Keat Hong estate 

Favourite spot: NTUC FairPrice at Lot One Shoppers’ Mall

A fortnight before CNY, Mdm Cheong will be watching out for the daily offers put up by NTUC FairPrice at Lot One. Only then does she intend to stock up on her snacks, drinks and other groceries.

“The offers are very good, up to 50%. Many people know about the offers, so you will see a long queue of people waiting to enter at 7am. Usually by 10am, the offer items will be sold out, so you must get there early,” she said.

It is very convenient to be able to buy everything under one roof within the estate, so she does not have to lug her heavy groceries home or deal with long public transport rides. Instead, her trusty shopping trolley would do the trick.