Indian man speaks fluent Mandarin & Hokkien to sell mop in S'pore heartlands

Original livestream saleman.

Belmont Lay | February 23, 2021, 05:09 AM

A video of a Singaporean Indian salesman speaking fluent Mandarin and Hokkien to hawk his wares during a live demonstration of the product in the Singapore heartlands is blowing people away.

The video, uploaded to Facebook on Feb. 21, has been shared more than 1,000 times after a day.

What video showed

The four-and-a-half-minute video showed the 30-year-old salesman giving a thorough demonstration of the mop he is selling.

He is seen providing clear, step-by-step instructions in a mix of Mandarin and Hokkien, and incorporating catch phrases to make those instructions memorable.

One of the catch phrases he returns to time and time again was to remind users to release the mop fully before mopping the floor.

He said at least five times, with some variation, during the short demonstration: "If you buy my mop back, you open it up like a flower, you put it on the floor, sweep and mop at the same time."

Although the exact location is not revealed in the video, some commenters claimed to have encountered this man's lively sales pitch in Bedok.

Novelty of his presentation

The novelty of the salesman's presentation was not lost on anyone, especially on himself.

At one point, the salesman told the crowd in Hokkien to abandon old fashioned mops: "It has been 50 years and still this. [Pointing to traditional mop.] 50 years ago Indian people can't speak Mandarin."

"Now Indian people can speak Mandarin. Society has already changed. It is time to change your mop too."

Crowd reaction

From the video, it is clear the crowd was clearly enamoured by the salesman's antics and lapping it all up.

At various points they can be heard ooh-ing and aah-ing, as the mop was twisted, pushed and pulled, to show its versatility and utility to its fullness.

Before the demonstration was even up, some of those watching were getting impatient as they wanted to buy the mop immediately.

One person can be seen in the video opening her wallet to take out cash, while two others were filming the proceedings.

Reactions to video

Reactions to the video on Facebook were unanimous.

Many of the commenters were blown away by the sleek presentation skills and impressed by the Indian man's Mandarin and Hokkien proficiency and vocabulary.

This comment rehashes the salesman's catch phrase. It said: "I wanna buy so I can open it like a flower."

Others commented that they were ready to part with their money to buy the mop as well.

Other commenters said the man could put his talent to good use by doing livestreaming sales, which would reach a much wider audience on social media.

Such sales demonstrations that lead to an uptick in interest in individual salespersons is not new.

The public has always been fascinated with those who can pull off a good sales pitch, especially if they are accompanied by some madcap and slapstick antics or wry humour.

Here is a translation of what the mop salesman presented:

"Small children wear their shoes indoors, there will be sand. We will also shed hair, but this hair is mine, as I don't dare to take other people's hair."

"Our mothers used to sweep the floor before mopping. If you buy my mop back, you open it up like a flower, you put it on the floor, sweep and mop at the same time. The dirt, dust, hair, and sand have not disappeared. Where did they go?"

"They are stuck on the mop."

[Crowd makes "Oooh" sound.]

"How do you wash it? You don't learn it from my mother who would use her hands to remove the dirt from the mop or use a toothbrush."

"You just have to give it a rinse in the pail, once, twice, thrice, and there is no more dirt."

"This mop head you got to remember to loosen it and pull it up. Turn the small knob. Turn it till you cannot turn it anymore, and the mop will be dry."

"Sometimes at home the kids will accidentally pour Coca-Cola on the floor. The floor will be wet."

"Our mothers love going to the market to buy this kind of mop."

"It has been 50 years and still this. 50 years ago Indian people can't speak Mandarin. Now Indian people can speak Mandarin. Society has already changed. It is time to change your mop too."

[Demonstrating with regular mop.]

"In your house, open your mop like a flower. You can mop the floor diligently, but it is no use."

"When you lift it up it is heavy and it will drip water."

"If you got cow strength you can use your hands to squeeze the mop. If you got no strength, you can use your feet to step on it and give it a squeeze."

"You can squeeze until your hands are wet and your feet is dirty."

"Today I will introduce you to this new mop as part of Chinese New Year festivities."

[Demonstrating new mop again.]

"I open the mop up like a flower. I put it on the floor with water, and give it a soft pull."

"The mop absorbs the water and gives me a dry floor. If you don't believe me, I will put a tissue paper on the floor and you can see for yourself."

[Smacks floor.]

"95 per cent dry."

"Got money, no money, we buy safety."

"You don't have to ask your kids and elderly to sit on the sofa for 10 minutes to wait for the floor to dry and not walk here and there."

"In just one breath, I can absorb all the water on the floor."

"When I lift the mop up will it drip? No, it won't drip."

"You must remember, okay? There is an auntie in Ang Mo Kio, who is muddle-headed, she didn't lift the mop head up the stick and started to squeeze. She can turn the knob to squeeze but there will be no water coming out even if she did it for a day."

"Always remember to pull the mop head up to attach to the knob that can be turned. Turn the small knob. Turn it until you can't turn it anymore. And I will return the water to the floor."

"Sometimes at home our mothers will fry vegetables and fish, she might accidentally pour pepper on the floor..."

[Gets interrupted by man who wants to buy a mop]

"Give me a while, okay? It is my last demonstration."

"Relatives and friends come to your house for a meal. And it is not just people who show up but also a dog."

"Dogs shed dog fur, and humans shed human hair. The world is fair."

"And there is dust."

"And this kind of floor, for all your big brothers and big sisters, with a lot of movement, you cannot afford to sweep or mop and it is very dirty."

"You can drag a rag cloth up and down and your back is weak."

"If you buy my mop back, take a look at this pail, you can give it a rinse. You lift the mop head up to the small knob. Turn the small knob. Turn it until you cannot turn it anymore. And the mop will be dry."

[Gets interrupted by public again.]

"Press this to release."

"And you open the mop like a flower at home, put it on the floor, and I gently push and pull, all the dirt, dust, hair and sand will not disappear, but they are all in the mop."

"How do we clean it? The government has time and time again ask you all to wash your hands."

"You don't use your hands to touch the mop. It is about hygiene."

"You can put the mop in the pail to wash, and wash it once, twice, thrice."

"If you use this every day, how long can it last? One year only. And you can throw it away."

"If you do not want to throw it away, you can go to OG or CK Tang and buy the mop head."

"But this mop head alone is expensive, S$6.90, don't buy it."

"We didn't have an offer last time, it was S$14.90 for one whole mop set."

"If you add on another mop head it will cost about S$20."

"Today for S$20 you can go ahead and get two sets."

"Wait a while, I will teach you how to change the mop head."

"See, see, see. Pull the mop head back, and reveal this black coloured knob. Turn it until you cannot turn it anymore."

"You can remove the mop head and throw it away. You can keep the metal pole."

"You can reuse the metal stick a substitute for the dustpan's wooden sticks."

"You can use it as the stick to remove your laundry pole."

"But with husband and wife fight, don't use it during the fight. You can't use it to hit someone."

"It's very simple. How I remove the mop head is how I replace it back."

"Find the black coloured knob, and replace it over the mop."

"When you buy the mop home, it will resemble a small portable umbrella."

"You have to watch me do it, or else, you don't know how to use it."

"When you buy it home it looks like a small umbrella."

"First step is to remove the plastic bag but don't throw it away as there are instructions on it."

"Second, this is a product from Singapore."

"Third, the handle is hidden inside, how do you take it out?"

"Loosen the handle knob and slide out the handle."

"Tighten the handle or else it will slide back in."

"You got to pull out the handle and turn the metal stick. It will then not fall off."

"If you want to release the mop head to mop the floor, you got to press the black button."