Home  > My Ah Ma, the gardener


We grew up in Kampong Ilham. The person I remember most fondly is our Ah-Ma. She took care of us until we were 6, and then she left us, and shortly after we moved out of the Kampong too. She was always tending to the plot of land we had as our garden, and cooking our meals. Breakfast was a mix of rice porridge with minced pork and chye sim grown in our garden.

Her favourite words were “chiak ho ho, ho ho thak chek, chiak kuay kuay”, which literally means in order to be successful, one has to be well nourished and study hard. It is no wonder then that she was always preparing meals for us and the family.

This photograph is a tribute to my Ah-Ma, tending to our garden in Kampong Ilham.

Re-produced with permission from the Singapore Memories Project.​​