Meet the 80-year-old joss paper seller who fled a revolution in China for a life in Singapore

Meet the 80-year-old joss paper seller who fled a revolution in China for a life in Singapore

In exchange for as well as shelter, Ng laboured at his boss’ joss stick manufacturing plant. Because the workshop has been thick with dirt and smoke, and Ng’s health could not take the dismal air quality, he was put in charge of packing the finished goods. From afar, this individual watched as the lively workers embraced the particular painstaking process along with great joy. “I was very surprised, ” he stated. “I remember thinking that they are making immense contributions to our industry. They are doing what others won’t. ”

2 yrs later, Ng traveled the world to Singapore with hopes for a family reunion. Instead, reality cannot be further from it. Ng’s father was infuriated to see his eldest son plus condemned him for abandoning his responsibilities. He demanded that will Ng return to Cina.

That he got survived the unthinkable and come this far only to be rejected by their family was mashing. For a time, the homeless 20-year-old slept in the back of lorries at the former Thong Chai Hospital along Eu Tong Sen Street. “At 4 to 5am, when people left just for work and started their engines, I might wake up with a start and hop away from. ”

It was not long before Ng was on the road again. This time, he travelled in order to Kulai in Johor, Malaysia to master the ability of candle-making, which was not a huge departure through his trade within Hong Kong. He learned to carve dragons and phoenixes – an auspicious duo in Chinese culture – onto wax. Once again, the world of joss sticks, incense papers and candles threw him a lifeline in his darkest hrs.


In 1967, Ng returned to Singapore plus started working at a shop along Desker Road. Around this period, he was also matchmade with a lady that later became the mother of his five children. Asked where they went on their particular first date, Ng laughed and stated: “We just stayed in the shop. Back then, having fun was not on our minds. ”