“Back In My Day…”

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1 February 2021

As we seek to honour and remember Singapore’s pioneer generation who are aging into their silver years, five NUS Undergraduates have chosen a more special way to bond with the elders. “Back In My Day” is a video project by these five NUS Undergraduates from various faculties. As recipients of OSA’s Diversity & Inclusion Grant, the project seeks to cultivate meaningful relationships with the pioneer generation –  going beyond giving tangible aid, but to bridge the younger generation and our elders through meaningful engagements.

Through this project, these NUS Undergraduates emerged to be more empathetic to the elderly around them. To them, these elderlies are not just beneficiaries - they are people who are wealthy in their experience and wisdom who are generous to impart life advice to the younger generation. The student-producers hope that their project would inspire and urge their peers and the younger generation to reach out and connect with the elderly like they did.  

“Aged Ginger is more pungent.” - A Chinese Proverb

The older you are, the wiser you are. This is a saying that has been indoctrinated in many youths since young.

In the first episode of “Back In My Day” series, Mr Ko prepares familiar, homely dishes- curry chicken and fried bee hoon. There is a sense of amazement as the young host observes how Mr Ko expertly picks his ingredients, from the type of the potatoes to the non-conventional way of preparing curry. The result is a mouth-watering spread, and you can almost smell it through the screen! Watching Mr Ko and students in the kitchen is a fond reminder of how food can bond people simply because of this “special ingredient” called affection our pioneers add into their food.

“Now imagine this, but with your favourite person in the whole universe!”
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

If you are lucky enough, you get to find your favourite person, in this vastness of the universe. Old Mr and Mrs Yap were even luckier: they get to spend the whole of their lives together with their favourite persons. Students took on an interesting approach to explore the concept of “Love” and its longevity.

To the elderly  couple, love is dancing. Love is Mr Yap taking endless pictures of Mrs Yap, just because she likes it. Love is after being married for 43 years, in the beat of familiarity, Mrs Yap still falls for his personality every day. Their story tells us that with the right person, love can be simple.

“Just because a man has wrinkles or a grizzled beard, it doesn’t mean that his youth has ended. There are still flowers to pick up, and birds to catch, right?” -

‘Till Madness Do Us Part (Wang Bing, 2013)

Uncle Meng Tee excitedly talks about his hobby of singing and carefully belts out the notes to 心头肉 (xin tou rou). Music is undoubtedly Uncle Meng Tee’s passion. He goes beyond teaching the melody, and even explains the Hokkien lyrics word for word.

About Diversity & Inclusion Grant

“Back In My Day” project is one of the four recipients of the Diversity & Inclusion Grant (Cycle 1). If you have a budding idea, we want to fund your project! Application for Cycle 2 closes 19 February 2021. ⁠Find out more.


Liu Qianyu