A Singaporean Indian man, who blew a lot of people away for speaking fluent Mandarin and Hokkien while hawking his wares, is biracial with ethnic Chinese and Indian parents, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported.
Moved to China when he was 13
The salesman was at Block 629, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, hawking his mop to passers-by, Wanbao reported.
The Chinese daily added that the 30-year-old man was raised by his grandparents, and he often used the Hokkien and Teochew dialects to talk to them.
Revealing that his Chinese surname is "Ng", he told Wanbao that when he was 13 years old, he dropped out of school and followed his sister to China after she married a man there.
And while working as a waiter in China, he managed to learn to speak fluent Mandarin and Cantonese.
Ng further revealed that even though he attended Chinese classes when he was in primary school, he had not taken his studies seriously then.
Only after moving to China did he start to learn to read and speak the language in earnest, he said.
His seven-year stay in China enabled him to pick up other Chinese dialects as well, such as Hakka, Hokchew and Teochew.
He subsequently moved to Thailand and Vietnam, where he sold sewing machines for two years.
While overseas, he picked up even more languages, such as Thai, Vietnamese, Malay and English.
Of these languages, he said English was his weakest.
Loves his job as he can crack jokes while working
In response to compliments from netizens who said he is "a language genius", Ng said he does not want to be famous, and just wants to focus on promoting his wares.
Adding that he loves his job as he can crack jokes while earning money, Ng revealed that he once sold a whopping 388 number of mops in just three hours.
Ng also said local residents all take good care of him, and often offer him drinks while he is working as they thought he might be feeling thirsty from all the talking he has to do.
In addition, Ng was so well-liked that some residents even wanted him to be their "godson".
He expressed his desire to travel to Taiwan and Japan when the pandemic ebbs and it is safe to travel again, so he can pick up more languages.
Top image adapted via Lianhe Wanbao & Zeng Li Ren/Facebook