A heartwarming friendship has bloomed between a 3-year-old boy and a few foreign construction workers from Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India after the child saw them using heavy machinery.
The boy, identified as Jake, made friends with the foreign workers when he saw them doing upgrading works in the car park below his Housing Board in central Singapore last December, according to Straits Times
“They are my good friends,” Jake said while speaking with Singapore-based publication Lianhe Zaobao.
“Even if it is just five minutes in a day, if he goes down just to smile and say hi, he does cheer them up a bit,”
Jake’s 32-year-old mother, who works as a marketing manager, said
Jake, who was fascinated by the gargantuan construction vehicles like the digger and road roller, befriended more than 10 workers at the site.
He initially visited the working men twice a day and exchanged waves and smiles, but later moved on to being the best of pals.
“Initially, we were cautious. There was not much communication because they were shy and it was just waving and smiling,” Annie told Straits Times. “But slowly, we realized that they could speak English, and that was how the conversation started.”
Jake has given the men nicknames such as Foreman, Tall Uncle, Red Helmet Uncle, Digger Driver, and Botak Uncle. In return, they affectionately call him “baby” as a nickname.
They carry Jake around, take pictures with him, and shower him with kisses whenever he drops by to visit them.
“Baby is very broad-minded, and he is a very good person. He will notice where everyone is, and if someone is on medical leave, he will ask where the person is,” one of the workers said.
During Jake’s birthday last March, the workers brought him presents, which Annie thought was “truly touching.”
“As we got to know them personally, they started sharing more about their families back home and how Jake reminded them of their children or nephews,” she said.
The family discovered that the workers sometimes eat their meal without any meat, so they decided to buy the men some chicken and sometimes even give them drinks and fruits.
The workers have moved to a different location, but Jake and his family still continue to visit them at their new work site.
The friendship has inspired Jake to become a construction foreman when he grows up. He also likes to play with Lego blocks to construct buildings and miniature figures of his new friends.
“He wants to be a foreman as he looks up to him. The foreman can drive the digger, the road roller… and he’s in charge,” Annie said.
His parents are very supportive of his ambitions and bought him a helmet and a safety vest.