Our Stories

About Our Stories 

Inspired by the ongoing popular project, the Humans of New YorkOur stories is a project by the Lakeside Grove Youth Chapter (YC) that highlights fascinating interests and hobbies of residents from Lakeside Grove that even their longtime neighbours may be unaware of!

Through collecting the interesting anecdotes, the YC aims to inspire residents to get to know their neighbours better and to interact more with them. 

The stories would be published on our website under this tab, and also on our Facebook page.

(July- August 2015 Issue)

Story #1
Topic: Pets

We had the pleasure today of interviewing Mr.Lee and Mrs.Lee, who keep two dogs and six birds. One of the dogs is a husky named Ruffy and another is a Pomeranian named Danny. Both of them are 12 years old.
(Danny, left and Ruffy)

When we visited the Lee's house, Danny and Ruffy ran out to welcome us warmly. We were really impressed by how well behaved Danny and Ruffy were. Mr Lee explained that it was because they sent them to dog school when the dogs were only 4 months old.

Mr and Mrs Lee shared many anecdotes, allowing us to have a better idea of their dog-care schedule. Their daily routine for their dogs includes walking and feeding them at regular timings. In particular, we were amazed by how the dogs had a big basket of dog treats to ‘select’ from to get their daily afternoon treat.
During our conversation with the Lees, Mrs.Lee and Mr.Lee rewarded Danny and Ruffy with their afternoon treat, as Mrs Lee shared with us how Danny tend to hide his food in a corner to keep it for later when he was hungry. 

Also, Mrs Lee shared how as Ruffy is too large to sleep in house, he sleeps in the yard. As he is afraid of thunderstorms, Mrs Lee accompanies him by sleeping beside the door.

In addition, the Lee family also takes good care of the dogs by buying many health products for the dogs. They even shared with us an exquisite photo collection of the dogs in a photo studio.

Mrs.Lee shared many memorable stories between Lee's family and the two dogs, of which includes how as Ruffy's birthday falls right around Christmas time, the whole family will specially make a birthday cake for Ruffy and invite friends to celebrate the two joyous occasions concurrently. The dogs have lived with the family for more than twelve years and the family has great affection for them. Mr.Lee never spend more than four days when working or traveling abroad as he shared with us that he would miss Danny and Ruffy.

Other than the two lovely dogs, the Lee’s also owns six beautiful birds. Mr.Lee enjoys taking the birds out every afternoon to various bird-singing corners that are nearby. He also takes special effort to feed his birds carefully. Each bird eats two worms every day. Mr.Lee also buys fruits like apple and pawpaw for the birds to help them sing more melodiously. Vitamin B and C will be added in birds' drinking water to make their feathers more colorful. Because of his patience and loving care, the birds appear to be exceptionally graceful and lovely.

Nowadays, many people keep pets, but very few of them tend to their needs and care for them as well as Mr and Mrs.Lee do. The pets have become a indispensable part of the Lee family. At the end of the interview, they told us keeping pets requires not only interest, but more importantly perseverance and passion. Let us give our best wishes to the Lee's family and the two dogs.

Story #2
Topic: Indian culture and traditions; Hobbies

We had the pleasure today of interviewing Mdm. Viji, who came from India several decades ago, to learn more about Indian culture, traditions, as well as her personal hobbies.

On of the first things that we were curious to find out more about was the symbolism behind the red dot on her forehead. Mdm. Viji explained to us that the proper term for this red dot is Kumkum and it consists of turmeric. A Hindu woman who is married would have a Kumkum on her forehead. The shape of the Kumkum is round.

During the chat, we also talked about the treatment of illness in a traditional Indian family. Mdm. Viji shared that when her family members fall ill, they usually take Siddhe medicine instead of going to the doctor. They prefer to use home remedies. For instance, they would take betel leaf after dinner for good digestion. If they have a cough or high fever, they will boil basil leaf and pepper together and drink the water twice a day.

In addition, we also talked about Indian traditions. One tradition is fasting—abstaining from solid food for the entire day. There are some variations, as some Indians may choose to have a liquid diet or only one solid meal for a day, while others choose just not to eat at all. Mdm Viji introduced that the purpose of fasting is to have greater focus on worshipping their god, in the hopes that they would be free of distractions. In addition, the time of fasting depends on which god you believe in. Since Mdm Viji believes in Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, she usually fasts on Friday. 

There is also a very fascinating festival that she introduced -- the Tamil New Year, also known as Varsha Pirappu or Puthandu Vazthukal, in mid-April. It is the first day of Chithirai, the first month in the traditional Tamil calendar. The day dawns by observing Kanni or viewing auspicious things such as gold, silver, jewelry, new clothes, new calendar, mirror, rice, coconuts, fruits, vegetables, betel leaves, and other fresh farm products. This ritual is believed to usher in good fortune.

As such, in the evening before this festival, Mdm Viji will make the Vishukani by herself. The Vishukani literally means "the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after waking up" and it consists of a ritual arrangement of auspicious items intended to signify prosperity, some of which includes rice, fruits and betel leaves. On the day of the festival, she will wake up earlier than other family members and take an oil bath. Then, the family will have their morning prayer in front of the Vishukani to give thanks. After that, she will cook things that are savory, sweet and bitter, which represents the four main types of emotions that we must encounter during our lives.

Mdm Viji shared with us that she enjoys cooking for her family and friends, as it is a way for her to express her affection for them. In addition to making sweets during festivals, she often cooks other dishes as well. She shared with us a picture of a simple breakfast that she made for her husband (right). During chatting, Mdm. Viji even brewed a fresh batch of pulled tea for us, which tasted sweet, milky, very delicious and made us feel welcomed.

The most exciting part of our visit was when Mdm. Viji kindly shared her craftwork with us.

Tealight holder
 Lighted tealight holder

The Tealight holders, as shown in the pictures above, were made using discarded CD and beads. Mdm Viji would usually place battery operated tealights in the centre of the holders and would use her crafts during Deepavali.

Then, opening her wooden cabinet, Mdm. Viji took out her delicate handcrafted earrings, each pair wrapped in small plastic bags. She carefully spread the earrings on the ground and asked us to feel free to take a look.   


        Handcrafted Earrings

We were really surprised when we knew the earrings shown in the pictures above (centre and far right) were made of long strips of paper.

Besides earring, Mdm. Viji also used paint to decorate photo frames and empty plastic milk boxes, which were transformed to become nice pen containers or colorful flowerpots.

We were really grateful for Mdm. Viji’s warm hospitality and for the opportunity to learn more about the Indian traditions and culture, as well as her passion for creating beautiful handicrafts. We wish Mdm. Viji all the best and may her passion for her hobbies continue to develop and grow! :)


(October - December 2015 Issue)

Story #3
Topic: Lakeside Grove Neighbourhood Committee; Lakeside 50

We were glad to have the opportunity to interview Mona, the current chairperson of the Lakeside Grove Neighborhood Committee. She welcomed us and talked about the experience of working in the NC as chairperson as well as the Lakeside 50 project.

Mona’s Experience in NC
Mona has been in the Neighbourhood Committee for 14 years, since it was first formed.
Mona with her dog, Kimchi

As the current chairperson, she shared that her motivation for being actively involved stems from her wish to serve the community better and to promote bonding among the community. She explained that this is achieved through the events that the Neighbourhood Committee organizes, during which neighbors would get the chance to know each other better.

One of the major NC events that Mona highlighted is the unique residents’ day event- ‘Relax Lah’ held annually on either September or October. The fun-filled event aims to provide residents with the opportunity to talk, eat and to enjoy themselves. Some of the past activities for this event include the durian party in 2013 and Halloween night in 2014.

Lakeside 50 Project
In addition, she is actively involved in an ongoing project by the Lakeside Grove Neighbourhood Committee- Lakeside 50. Volunteers who sign up for this project will aim to walk 50km by 2 August.

The committee embarked on the Lakeside 50 project as an effort to celebrate SG50.
She shared that this project was initiated because walking is manageable for most people. Furthermore, the effort required to accumulate 50km over a span of a few months is meant to symbolise how the incredible achievements of Singapore during these 50 years is resulted from consistent effort and work.

She shared that there is on average 3 walking sessions each week, to provide participants with the flexibility of choosing one that fits their schedule. At present, most of the walkers have almost reached their targeted number of km.

The walking routes are concentrated in the west part of Singapore, some of which are suggested by participants. This project has gone well and the age of participants ranges from 6 to 60+. Whenever they pass by a beautiful place, they will take photos and the committee member will upload them to Lakeside Facebook page.

   10 May Morning – Marina Bay

    5 July Morning – Dairy Farm Nature Park

The final walk was carried out on 2 August and the volunteers who achieve the 50 km target will be rewarded special-designed finishers T-shirts.

Before we left, we asked Mona if she had any words of encouragement for those who were interested in joining. “It’s quite easy to walk 50 km in about 30 sessions as long as you are active. Come along and have fun!”

Students from the NTU PRC Group, who assisted in interviewing and writing the anecdotes

Lim Jing Rong (Chairperson of the Lakeside Grove YC)
Kelley Lau (Member of the Lakeside Grove NC)

Mr and Mrs Lee
Mdm Viji
Mona Cheah (Chairperson of the Lakeside Grove NC)

Do drop an email to lakesidegrove@yahoo.com.sg if you are interested in sharing stories about something/ someone which you are proud of, and we would be glad to feature it in OUR stories snippets:)

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