SINGAPORE: Would you risk hurting your child’s feelings for a slab of barbecued pork worth $14.50? Well, Crystal Jade caught the public’s attention with its latest Parents’ Day promotion that seems to encourage parents to do just that.

In it, parents were asked to recite the famous Cantonese phrase, “saang gau caa siu hou gwo saang nei,” which means ‘giving birth to barbecued pork is better than giving birth to you,’ in exchange for a plate of roasted honey barbecued pork.

This promotion, valid on selected days in May and June, was first advertised on their Instagram page on April 29 and aimed to bring some fun to the Parents’ Day celebrations.

Their social media page caption read, “Jokes and naggings aside, Crystal Jade wishes all families a joyous Parents’ Day season!”

However, what started as a playful and humorous campaign took an unexpected turn when a photo of the promotional poster found its way onto an online forum, sparking a mix of reactions from Singaporean netizens.

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“This hits my nerve.”

Some netizens found the promotion somewhat insensitive, expressing that hearing their parents say that phrase in front of the restaurant staff would distress them. 

One of them said, “This hits my nerve. Saying it as a joke is one time too many. These kinds of sayings are why I’m cutting off my family. I heard similar sayings every few months as a kid.”

Another remarked, “… free meat for potentially traumatic embarrassment for the kid.” Several others commented that this phrase would reopen old wounds and bring back unpleasant memories. 

Some shared personal stories from their youth, describing how their parents would use this phrase whenever they failed important school exams, weren’t accepted into the colleges of their choosing, or failed to live up to any of their expectations.

For them, seeing this phrase used in a promotional context felt like trivializing their past struggles and hardships. A few parents also joined the discussion, stating that they, too, did not find the promotion amusing.

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One of them said, “I’m the first child in an Asian family quite immune to this, but no way am I going to say this to my own kid.”

“Intent matters. Saying it for free food is funny.”

Despite the backlash, a few netizens defended Crystal Jade and argued that the promo was intended to make Parents’ Day more fun. Some even praised the restaurant chain’s marketing team, saying that it was a clever and good promo.

One netizen added, “Intent matters. Saying it for free food is funny. Saying it to hurt your children’s feelings isn’t. Must be exhausting to be offended by everything.”

Another stated, “People are so sensitive these days.”

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