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YouTuber couple ‘Chengdu Family’ offers S’poreans fresh take on S’pore via short films – Mothership.SG

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You may need seen this video of hawkers busy at work on this Bedok South hawker centre even earlier than the morning time.

Shot by a YouTuber couple, whose channel is known as “Chengdu Household”, it quickly garnered hundreds of views amongst native Singaporean audiences for its quaint tackle the lifetime of strange Singaporean hawkers who work via the night time earlier than the solar comes up, in time to serve breakfast to the early risers of the realm.

Screenshot by way of Chengdu Household/YouTube

Among the many compliments commenters have left for the couple who hail from the Chinese language metropolis of Chengdu, some stated they have been touched by the sincerity the video exudes, and that they have been glad to have learnt extra about their very own nation via the lens of non-citizens.

Filmed in a brief documentary type with a heartfelt voiceover, the topics have been introduced as they have been, uncooked with no added embellishment.

Chatting with Mothership by way of a video name, Nelson Liu and Cecilia Chen – the husband and spouse duo who make up “Chengdu Household” – stated they merely needed to indicate their lives right here in Singapore via the angle of somebody who might not have been born right here, however have made the nation their dwelling.

Singaporean viewers love the way in which they have a look at Singapore

Sharing extra particulars in regards to the video, which was a part of their “neighbourhood collection” – they’ve additionally performed comparable movies in Bedok and Tanglin Halt as effectively, they stated they merely needed to share with their viewers one in every of their favorite breakfasts that their neighbour had launched them.

“Nanyang breakfast is in every single place, however their bread is admittedly totally different and along with their tea, the meal is admittedly good,” Chen enthused.

Screenshot by way of Chengdu Household/YouTube

The couple additionally surmised that such movies are well-liked amongst Singaporeans partly as a result of no different creators have been doing the identical factor.

“Apparently, our Singaporean viewers, which kind nearly all of our viewers, like to see how we have a look at Singapore,” Chen shared, including that she and her husband have been shocked when “a younger English-speaking Singaporean” got here as much as them as soon as and informed them he was a fan of their channel.

Earlier than this occurred, they thought solely Mandarin audio system watched their channel, Chen defined.

To Liu and Chen, highlighting the sheer effort and exhausting work that hawkers put in behind the scenes can be one thing they want to do via their movies.

“I’ve been consuming hawker meals in Singapore since younger, as a baby. And if you tuck into your meal, you’re solely serious about whether or not the meals is sweet, you’re hardly ever serious about the hawker behind the meals, and also you don’t see the work they’ve put in,” Chen stated.

The couple additionally sees meals as a “bridge between Singapore and China, or Sichuan”, the place they’re from.

“Good meals doesn’t come by day by day, so once we see one thing good, we need to introduce that to others,” she added.

Movies grounded by “sincerity”

Regardless of the recognition of such movies amongst their viewers – their three “neighbourhood” movies mixed have garnered round 270,000 views – Liu and Chen don’t have any plans in the mean time to pump them out as a part of their common content material.

That may be a moderately uncommon transfer, as most content material creators on YouTube or some other social media platform sometimes attempt to cater to their viewers by posting content material that they know will get them probably the most views.

Explaining their outlook in direction of their channel, which was began when the pandemic hit, Liu stated, “I believe a moderately main attribute that our channel has is ‘sincerity’, and ‘sincerity’ is one thing that the viewers can really feel.”

“If we function a hawker centre or a spot only for the sake of that includes it, even with out us having a lot ideas or attachment in direction of it, that wouldn’t be us, that wouldn’t be what our channel is about.”

Liu additional shared that though it solely took round per week for them to provide the “Bedok South at 4am” video, the voiceover they included took longer than that, because it was “a end result of ideas and emotions” that they’ve gathered through the years dwelling within the space as Bedok residents.

Would not need to create movies for clout or views

They additional shared that that they had first resisted filming Tanglin Halt when it was first reported round mid-2021 that the property – one of many oldest in Singapore – could be demolished by 2024 to make method for redevelopment.

“We knew that if we made a video on this place, folks would undoubtedly watch it because the information was nonetheless moderately new on the time. However Tanglin Halt is definitely an unfamiliar place to us, and if we merely push out a video simply to experience on the development, we’d lose the ingredient of sincerity,” Liu defined.

In the long run, it was a remark left by one in every of their followers that prompted them to choose up their digital camera and get cracking.

“(The follower) left a prolonged remark that detailed his connection to the property through the years. That was once I realised I may have a look at the place from the perspective of somebody who has had comparable experiences,” Liu stated, including that outdated neighbourhoods are usually not unfamiliar to him as he had grown up in a single as effectively.

“We determined to go early within the morning as outdated neighbourhoods, with its aged residents, are likely to get up sooner than different neighbourhoods,” Liu stated.

Screenshot by way of Chengdu/Household

So resolute have been the couple in direction of their philosophy of solely producing movies of topics that they really feel for, they’re keen to take comparatively low views of their stride when a video doesn’t do as effectively.

“Which content material creator doesn’t need their movies to go viral? It may be disappointing to see our movies droop in views, in fact. Nevertheless it’s one thing that we’re keen to commerce off in return for making movies that we’re personally touched and impressed by,” Chen stated.

“If we’re led by the hype, we wouldn’t be ourselves anymore. And we need to be true to ourselves.”

Discovered their second dwelling in Singapore

Having sunk their roots right here in Singapore – Liu moved over to be with Chen in 2017 after they obtained married, whereas Chen has been dwelling in Singapore since she was 12 – the couple has come to see the island state as their second dwelling.

Singapore additionally holds a particular place of their hearts, as along with Malaysia, it was the place the place they discovered their first viewers.

Their journey vlog in West Malaysia, which was taken as a part of their honeymoon journey, has racked up greater than 1.6 million views because it was posted in July 2020.

Screenshot by way of Chengdu Household/YouTube

Most likely their most watched video since they began the channel, it had gone viral amongst a predominantly Malaysian viewers, a few of whom left supportive feedback saying that the video captured the spirit of Malaysia, and even impressed them to journey overland in Malaysia themselves.

The couple had not anticipated the video to explode.

This was as a result of the function size journey vlog, which runs over 100 minutes, was a uncommon format on YouTube, the place shorter, extra bite-sized clips are usually shared and considered much more instances.

The video helped contribute to their channel’s development, and because the couple made extra movies in Singapore, their content material resonated with a gaggle of their viewers.

“I grew up in Chengdu, and I’ve been making movies since my college days in Zhuhai and Hong Kong, however my first viewers weren’t from these locations, it was from Singapore and Malaysia, so I’ve very particular emotions in direction of these international locations,” Liu stated.

Runs into associates wherever they go in Singapore

He additional shared that their followers made them really feel at dwelling in Singapore as every time the couple runs into individuals who know them via their channel, they’re handled like common associates, moderately than people who find themselves idolised just because they’ve a public presence.

These followers typically have a phrase of encouragement for the couple, who stated assembly their followers in actual life helps encourage them and drive them of their work. Nonetheless, there are some who would possibly resolve to get a bit cheeky.

“Generally they’d be so blunt as to say issues like, ‘It’s been some time because you went to the fitness center proper?’” Liu stated whereas giving a small chuckle.

Regardless of them being full strangers, Liu and Chen don’t get offended by these remarks as they arrive from a spot of care and concern. “It’s like pleasant banter between associates,” Chen stated.

Liu additionally recounted a time when a follower purchased him a beer as soon as after they noticed in one in every of their movies that he managed to chug half a can with out taking any breaks.

And typically, it’s these frequent interactions with locals who recognize their work that make them really feel like they belong.

Chen added, “We don’t have any household right here, it’s simply us two, so when our followers see us in public, method us and encourage us, it looks like we’ve got a household right here as effectively.”

One other distinctive factor about their channel, as Chen identified, is that they hardly ever obtain destructive feedback on-line, if any – a moderately uncommon phenomenon in at the moment’s web tradition the place remarks made underneath the cloak of anonymity could be moderately crucial and even demeaning.

Elaborating additional on how they’ve settled into their dwelling in Singapore and located a way of belonging right here, Liu surmised, “Crucial factor is to not stick labels onto anybody you meet, and simply deal with them as people, whom they’re.”

“And most necessary of all, have an open coronary heart,” Chen added.

If you wish to hear extra about Cecilia Chen’s experiences in Singapore after transferring right here, tune in to our Fb web page at 9pm this Friday (Mar. 18). Debate champion Pang Ying, whose achievements are well-known in China, will even be sharing her ideas as to how Singapore has performed a formative position in her life.

Additionally tune in on Thursday (Mar. 17), 9pm, to pay attention to 2 Singaporean entrepreneurs, Francis Low and Jackson Kwa, as they share how they managed to eke out a path of their very own overseas in China.

These audio system appeared at “Singaporean Trailblazers Overseas: China version”, an occasion hosted by Mothership in partnership with Enterprise China.

Observe and hearken to our podcast right here

High picture by way of Chengdu Household





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