28 Feb 2019

Community - People

SG Day 2019: Thursday Tai Tai Turns Ten


We know that being away from home and familiarity always takes a bit of getting used to! Do you have a squad that you will always go to chit chat about how you miss Singapore hawker food, and break out in Singlish?

Today we are featuring Thursday Tai Tai (TTT), a support group for Singaporean mothers who are based in Shanghai. Founded in 2008 by Eve Wee-Ang out of a desperate need to makan and speak Singlish, TTT started by gathering at a different eatery in Shanghai on Thursdays with their kids and babies in tow. Over the years, TTT has grown and comprises of mothers who contributed to Shanghai in their personal and professional fields while flying the Singapore flag proudly.

This year, they celebrate TTT’s 10-year anniversary as they continue their tradition of throwing outrageous theme parties and sniffing out the best makan places in Shanghai. If you happen to sit beside a noisy group of women in a restaurant in Shanghai bantering words like jia lat, yao gui and sibeh shiok, that should be them! 

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Eve Wee Ang


Eve and her family


Eve first landed in Shanghai in 2008 with her husband and 8-month-old daughter. Shortly after, she was pregnant with her second one and decided she was going to give birth here. But first, she needed to make new friends. The lunches she attended with some mothers she met at her daughter’s playgroups were polite and sporadic. Some of them had their own cliques and newcomers were met with a lukewarm welcome. She needed more, so she told herself, instead of wallowing in self-pity, why not transfer that energy by starting a weekly lunch group?


On 20 March 2009, four Singaporean moms and mom-to-be met on their first TTT blind date at Le Meridien Hotel Ai Mei Chinese Restaurant (it’s still around!) where they bantered in Singlish without a care and laughed at jokes only they understood. It sparked tremendous joy and she wanted that jolt of support to carry her through every single week.

TTT circa 2009 Christmas party


This year, TTT celebrates ten years of gathering this way in Shanghai. It serves as a support group for Singaporean mothers living in Shanghai and the group is deliberately kept small and cozy with new members joining through recommendation. It has since expanded to Hong Kong where Eve relocated briefly and Singapore where TTT members continue to support each other when they return home.


Besides moderating TTT, Eve, a former fashion publicist, is a freelance writer for Shanghai Family Parents & Kids magazine and has a monthly shopping column where together with Singaporean photographer, Wei Kuan Tay, they shoot and feature stylish parents and kids. Eve also contributes to OSU scribblers where she writes about her life in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Her latest project is to be a certified Konmari consultant where she will be undergoing training in London by teaching people how to tidy up the Marie Kondo way! Until then, she looks forward to attending Sg Day with fellow TTT families and having goosebumps as they sing Home together! 


Shanghai Family Parents & Kids article about Singapore


Hilda Lim


Hilda and her family


Hilda and her family relocated to Shanghai in January 2016 and she joined TTT in the same year. At her first TTT lunch, she had a bowl of Bak Chor Mee at a Singaporean restaurant and didn’t understand the obsession back then but now she does.


Over the last three years, the mother of one has been actively involved with charity work at Mingxin Caritas Shanghai whose mission is to enable the international community to confidently support and provide aid for individuals who suffer in poverty, poor health and challenging circumstances in China. These initiatives include Circle of Love and Circle of Hope projects.


Circle of Hope during Christmas


At the Circle of Love project, Mingxin Caritas provides medical attention to disabled orphans. Volunteers like Hilda, an in-house counsel back home, would visit the children undergoing surgery and provide their home for them to stay during the recuperative period. One of them, Tian Ruo a 11-year-old boy who had surgery to remove infected tubes that drain the fluid in his brain, stayed with Hilda’s family for 3 weeks. An affectionate and endearing child, Tian Rou’s time with the family filled their home with laughter.   



Tian Rou, Hilda and her daughter, Isabel


Circle of Hope is an educational programme for the children of He Qing village in Shanghai. Hilda’s family volunteer as English tutors for these children every Saturday. In fact, her 14-year-old daughter, Isabel Chong also teaches a class of students on her own. Hilda believes these experiences enriched their family to learn about China and its people.


Isabel tutoring some children at He Qing village


Hilda is proud to celebrate TTT’s 10-year anniversary as she sums up: “Ordinary days in Shanghai were spiced up by wacky characters and events in TTT – all in broad daylight - making my life in Shanghai more colourful!” She is also looking forward to her first Singapore Day in Shanghai!  



Shirani Alfreds

Shirani attacking black pepper crabs at Jumbo Seafood


Shirani and her family has been in Shanghai for nearly 4 years and was introduced to TTT, a support group for Singaporean mothers by her husband’s ex colleague. She is thankful to find a space that she can seek advice on living in Shanghai and share deep truths – in Singlish – without judgements.


As a Legal Advisor at Bonnard Lawson International Law Firm, Shirani holds talks about estate planning in Shanghai for families. Over the course of living here, she discovered that amongst expats, many didn’t have wills in place in their home countries and weren’t aware of the implications of not having legal guardianship for their children. She started by arranging a talk for TTT to address some of these questions with a Singapore context but wasn’t very satisfied with the information.  She was searching for answers to all her burning questions in particular, as an expat family living in China. One thing led to another when an opportunity presented itself to build this area of practice.

Shirani Alfreds presenting at her Will Estate talks


She acknowledges the stigma in addressing this tough topic because nobody wants to think about untimely passing. Yet, Shirani believes it is important, especially families with children, to do this legally and formerly. Her talks have been extremely well-received within the Shanghai parent community and she hopes to continue building awareness through these avenues.

Before taking on this role, Shirani, mom of two, blogged at Urban Family website, a family magazine in Shanghai under the moniker Dragon Mama where she wrote about topics such as parenting cross-cultural and international kids, mental health and a whole host of other matters.

Shirani at a TTT Halloween party


Shirani looks forward to another crazy themed party at TTT’s 10-year anniversary this March and is excited about the epic picnic on Singapore Day that everyone’s been talking about!


Mok Siew Lin


Siew Lin and her family


Siew Lin has been residing in Shanghai for the last 14 years and joined TTT, a support group for Singaporean mothers two years ago through a neighbour’s suggestion.


She runs Eden Kitchen, a food delivery service in Shanghai that provides Singaporean dishes, snacks and desserts. A corporate lawyer back home, Siew Lin started Eden Kitchen in 2015 as her little attempt at being an entrepreneur and dreams of one day employing people who are marginalized by society. She learned to cook from her grandmother who taught her pretty much everything in life and aims to provide food to her customers the way she remembers back home. 


What started as a little project to feed her husband's insatiable craving for Singaporean food and a way to educate her son about our food culture has now spawn into 4 huge Wechat “Kampong” group chats that comprise of 1500 fans who are mainly Singaporeans. To keep tabs on her customers favourites, Siew Lin conducts an annual Eden Kitchen Kampong polls. Last year, the top dishes were: Kway Chup, Bak Chor Mee and Popiah.  The top ranked snacks and desserts were: Chwee Kueh, Curry Puffs and Soon Kueh.  To keep her food as authentic as possible, Siew Lin hand carries 100kg worth of sauces and paste whenever she makes a trip home and relies on a friend who flies into Shanghai often to bring them over!


Snippets of food from Eden Kitchen


Siew Lin confessed to being a “closet TTT” as the lunch hour that TTT gathers is her crunch time for lunch orders. But she enjoys reading the Wechat messages especially the lobangs that the ladies share! She is looking forward to saying hi to all the Singaporean customers on Sg Day who have been supporting her business stealthily all this while!

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Are you an overseas Singaporean living in China? If you haven’t already heard, Singapore Day 2019 is coming to YOU! The biggest overseas Singaporean reunion will be taking place at Century Park, Shanghai on 13 April 2019, bringing you a slice of home with our exciting exhibits, captivating concerts, fabulous food and the coolest company. The best part? You can speak Singlish all you want – shiok ah!

Register for Singapore Day 2019 and you will also be in the running for a lucky draw to win a pair of return Singapore Airlines tickets from China to Singapore. So what are you waiting for, register here today!


Read the stories of Singaporeans living overseas.