My memories: Here's looking at you, kid

SINGAPORE - A game of hide-and-seek was just one of the ways that a mother and her energetic two-year-old daughter occupied time while waiting for dad to pick them up.

For Ms Ong Si Ying, now 23, and her mother, Madam Lee Geok Mui, 53, enjoying the cool breeze and playing at a void deck of a Housing Board block in Clementi Avenue 4 was a daily affair back in 1992.

Ms Ong, who would have spent the day at her grandmother's nearby flat, would always be running around and "climbing up and down" the benches and chairs there, Madam Lee recounted in Mandarin.

It might have been over 20 years ago, but, thanks to a photograph which Ms Ong's father snapped, the memories are as fresh as yesterday's.

The photograph - depicting a tender moment between mother and daughter - was one of 10 winning entries in My Paper's My Memories photo contest this year. The contest asked readers to send in photos of their years growing up in Singapore.

Ms Ong, who chose the photograph after flipping through some old photo albums, said it was particularly meaningful to her.

"It's been a very long time since we played (together)...My mum is older now and I have grown up," said Ms Ong, a risk-assurance associate.

Madam Lee, an oil-rig designer, said dotingly: "These days, we seldom see each other, especially when she's working late and I'm asleep when she gets home."

Noting how the void deck and its surroundings have changed over the years, she said that there used to be a mural on one of the walls, as seen in the photograph. It has since been removed.

"We thought (the mural) would make a nice backdrop for some photos...If not for it, we might not have taken the photograph...It depicted people from different races, in traditional dresses," she said.

Ms Ong, who won a pair of tickets to the National Day Parade (NDP) today for her photo entry, will be giving them to her mother and 19-year-old brother, who have not attended the parade.

Another contest winner, Ms Amelia Chua, 20, said her photo entry depicted how a simple corridor outside her flat in Potong Pasir was a place where many friendships and memories were forged.

Her entry showed her as a three-year-old - being carried by her sister, then 11 - together with neighbours who lived just two doors away.

While the corridor space was confined, it did not limit the type of games that Ms Chua said she and her neighbours would think up, from playing catch to hide-and-seek, and having tea parties.

Ms Chua, a medical student at the National University of Singapore, said: "(The corridor) was a common place for us to hang out, where we would not disturb our parents...and we did our own thing."

 

adrianl@sph.com.sg


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