“When I was younger, I used to care how much money there was in an ‘angpau’…”

“Now, I feel that what is inside an ‘angpau’ is a blessing, and a form of well-wishing (from the elders). To be able to receive an ‘angpau’ with both hands is a blessing itself, its not so much about the money anymore.

There was once a customer requested for a super big ‘angpau’ (red packet) because he wanted to give his mother RM4,000 cash. I told him ‘write cheque lah!’, but he insisted because it was the Chinese New Year and giving cash carries significance, so we printed a bigger ‘angpau’ for him. 

Yeah, there’s e-angpau these days, but even if there’s just one customer order, I will continue to make ‘angpau’, and tell people that I am still printing customised red packets.” – Lee Kuan Chen.

The above interview was conducted in Mandarin.

Story by Samantha Siow
Photo by Kelvin Mah
Translation by Christine Cheah

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(This post was first published on February 20th 2018)

“I stay at an old folks home in Kajang with my husband. My son left us both, and I understand he would not have left us if he was not desperate enough…”

“As a family of three, we were always moving around from one place to another back in Johor three years ago because we did not have enough money to pay rent. I am relieved now that I can stay at this old folks home and make new friends with the other residents here.

I just want my son to know that both of us are doing fine, and I wish he can come back to see the both of us and have a reunion dinner again this Chinese New Year.” – Ah Swee

The above interview was conducted in Cantonese.

Photo and story by Ooi Chia ShenHumans of Kuala Lumpur.

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(This post was first published on February 16th 2018)

“Being single at this age is not easy. I am 50 years old and am living at an old folk home as a helper. I broke both my legs in a car accident six years ago…”

“Thanks to the courtesy of the managing director of this old folk home (I work at), I was able to rest and heal here. Ever since I recovered, I have been staying here to take care of other old folks.

My brother and his family lives in Kuala Lumpur, but I don’t want to trouble them though I need help sometimes. They have a life of their own. 

I am happy here because I do not have to spend my Chinese New Year alone over the past six years. However, I wish I can visit my father in another old folks home in Cheras this Chinese New Year and have a family reunion dinner with the rest of the family. He is 86 years old and as much as I do want to spend time with him, it is hard for me to find a transport there.”- Chong Li Mei.

The above interview was conducted in Cantonese.

Photo and story by Ooi Chia ShenHumans of Kuala Lumpur.

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(This post was first published on February 15th 2018)

“This festive season is about ushering the new year together with loved ones…”

“From near and far places like Macau”, says Daniel.
We asked him what was his message to everyone for the new year and he excitedly replied:

“Everybody balik kampung! Happy Chinese New Year everyone!” 

And indeed, a Happy Chinese New Year to all from the Humans of Kuala Lumpur team! — with Daniel Chia.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

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(This post was first published on February 1st 2014)