Bedok resident decorates her HDB corridor for Chinese New Year, in memory of late father

Bedok resident decorates her HDB corridor for Chinese New Year, in memory of late father
Ms Linda Cheng with the Chinese New Year decorations outside her home at Bedok Reservoir Road. She goes all over Singapore, Johor Baru and Batam to look for decorations that she can put up during the festive period.
PHOTO: Linda Cheng

SINGAPORE - Ms Linda Cheng's father used to sit outside her flat to take in the elaborate Chinese New Year decorations she put up each year.

This year, the corridor outside the Bedok Reservoir flat is festooned with lanterns and decked out with flowers, chickens and golden eggs.

But the patriarch, who died last October at age 80, will not be able to see her efforts.

Nonetheless, she has put up more decorations than years before, in his memory.

Bedok resident decorates her HDB corridor for Chinese New Year

Ms Cheng, 56, a sales promoter for Elizabeth Arden, started to decorate the common area outside her house seven years ago because she wanted to bring back memories of their kampung days for her father, who suffered from dementia.

He would clap when he came to her house, and sit outside looking at the decorations until it was time for dinner, she said.

It started with just lanterns, but the decorations became more elaborate each year as she saw how her father enjoyed it.

Photo: Linda Cheng

Most of the ornaments were made by Ms Cheng herself, and she spent more than $500 on the materials and for an electrician to put up the lights, she said.

Her son helped to "sponsor" part of the cost, she added.

Neighbour Nabilah Mohamed Nasir Khan, who sent photos of the decor to the media, said in an email that Ms Cheng has been "putting up the decorations till late at night after she has finished working, running everywhere to get whatever she needed".

One of the items that gave Ms Cheng some trouble were the golden eggs she needed to complete this year's theme: "Abundance in the year of the Rooster".

She tried spray painting plastic eggs, but it didn't work. Luckily, she found some gold eggs at a stationery store.

She bought all the eggs they had, and even asked them to order more for her. She ended up with 80 eggs.

Photo: Linda Cheng

As for the chicken's "nest", she rummaged in the trash at her market to get crates which were discarded by the stall holders, cleaned them and spray painted them.

"May the year of the Rooster lay an abundance of golden eggs, that is my wish to everyone in the new year," she said.

But it's not all about gold and wealth, she pointed out that she has crates of peaches which represent longevity and good health.

She also tries to re-use the ornaments from previous years, she said.

Two years ago, Ms Cheng was featured in The New Paper for her year of the goat decor, while last year's monkey-themed decorations were shared on social media, she said.

But this year's decorations mean a great deal more to her.

"I'm doing this to remember him," she said.

Photo: Linda Cheng

chuimin@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Jan 26, 2017.
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