5 items of cultural significance to Pierre Png of Rich, Crazy Asi

From bestreviews.com
Allen Foster

Pierre Png shares 5 items of great cultural significance to him.

Crazy Rich Asians is the late summer blockbuster romcom based on Kevin Kwan's 2013 novel of the same name. It has been a quarter of a century since the last studio film featuring a predominantly Asian cast was released. Whereas The Joy Luck Club seemed more of an anomaly, Crazy Rich Asians might be a game changer for the film industry.

"Blockbuster hits have never featured a main cast of Asians in successful roles," Pierre Png, who plays Michael Teo in the film, told BestReviews. "It's always been the triad boss, the geek, the gung fu master ... Crazy Rich Asians features every Asian person from different walks of life, it throws light on a community that's affluent and rich in culture."

BestReviews asked Png to name 5 items that are of great cultural and emotional significance to him. Here's what he came up with:

#1 and #2: A Hong Bao (or Red Packet) and my wallet

"It holds great significance to me because it was gifted by my parents on my birthday. I leave the gift of cash in there so that my wallet never runs empty. In Chinese custom, when you are gifted a wallet the person gifting it should always leave an auspicious sum in numerics of '8' in it for good luck!"

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#3: A string of Rosary beads

"It used to belong to my dad. He used to pray the rosary as he knelt in front of the altar. That is a memory of my dad that is etched in my head. The beads are well worn and I am reminded of my father's hands when I use the beads for prayer."

#4: A mortar and pestle

"I am of Peranakan descent and my mother makes the best Chilli Belachan (traditional Peranakan chilli paste). I had to have one of hers when I acquired my own home because the taste and textures just aren't the same when the ingredients are blended in an electric blender. My wife is still trying to master this condiment via mortar and pestle."

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#5: A scapular

"I have worn my scapular around my neck day-in, day-out since I was a child. It reminds me of where I came from, and gives me great comfort and a sense of peace no matter which part of the world I am in."

More about Pierre Png:

Pierre was brought up in a relatively pious catholic family, where he served as an altar boy throughout adolescence. Growing up, he had aspirations of being a priest. When he was given the role of a lunatic in Singapore's most prestigious talent search program, however, everything changed.

"I was told that I was so convincing that I scared the daylights out of the judges."

Winning that competition gave Png the confidence he needed to pursue a career in acting.

When asked how similar he is to his character, Michael Teo, Pierre replied, "I am that true blue Singaporean boy that is Michael Teo. We both served in the National Service, we were not born with silver spoons in our mouth, we never had the opportunity to be educated abroad, we fought hard to get to where we are, and we truly adore our wives. The only difference is I don't allow my insecurities to get the better of me."

Allen is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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