An exercise in humility

Ong Zi Ying did this video called “Closer Apart” in 2011 while she was in her second year at Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore. A part of her school assignment, the video is about the relationship between a grandchild and grandmother – a young person’s understanding about ageing, a change of heart and a closer bond.



Ageless Voice speaks to Zi Ying about her video:

Why this specific topic of the relationship between a grandmother and a granddaughter? Is this story true?
During my school time, we needed to think of a story for our assignment and I had no idea what kind of genre I should write. My lecturer and classmate advised me to write something that was close to my heart and that I could relate to. Therefore, I thought of writing a story about my grandmother and me. I seldom get to watch student films that portray the grandparent-grandchildren relationship so that’s why I decided to write about that story.

I will not say that the story is 100-percent true, but there are some scenarios that are true. Sometime my grandmother is stubborn; it takes time for her to realise that her health is not as strong as before.

So what is your own relationship with your own grandmother?
My relationship with my grandmother, who is currently 84, is good. My grandmother does not stay with me so I will visit her during my free time and bring her to her favourite restaurant, sometimes drink coffee together during tea break. She is happy when we play mahjong with her.

I do not know if you actually can tell but the two main leads in my video is actually my grandmother and I. This is our first time acting and I am happy that the video came out well. I am grateful that my grandmother is willing to help me out for my project despite her age of 82 at that time.

What was your goal for the video?
My goal is to bring awareness to the younger ones out there that we should care and spend more time with our grandparents. We need to understand the cycle of taking care of our grandparents as they used to take care of us when we were young. It is now our turn to take care of them although it’s hard for them to put down their dignity and realise that they need to be taken care of.

Any interesting feedback you have gotten from the video?
Both my family and relative couldn’t stop laughing at the video because they didn’t expect my grandmother to act so well and that I was so fierce to my grandmother in the video because I am never fierce to her in reality. It is a touching story to an outsider but a comedy story to my family and relative.


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