Celeb kids Chen Yi Xi and Yi Xin: We used to hide the cane from our mum!

The Chen siblings reveal the lesser-known side of life with parents Edmund Chen/Xiang Yun and why they’re entering showbiz.

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Talk to the Chen siblings and you’ll realise that the nine-year age gap between the offspring of former Mediacorp actor Edmund Chen and Mediacorp actress Xiang Yun, both 56, is pretty apparent because of their contrasting characters.

Indeed, a child’s birth order can have an impact on their personalities. Older siblings are thought to be more responsible, mature and possess leadership qualities, while the youngest tend to be carefree and more charming.

Yi Xi, 27, notes that his sister, Yi Xin, is very outspoken as compared to him, while he describes himself as more of a宅男 (zhai nan) — Chinese for a quiet male geek. In fact, for 18-year-old Yi Xin says that the relationship she has with her older brother is a supportive one, thanks to their large age gap.

She elaborates, “My parents are naggers — they don’t scold, they nag and it’s like the worst thing ever. So, sometimes, I feel like my older brother understands me better. There are times when he’s like a third parent to me.”

The second-year Singapore Polytechnic student reckons that she’s also the more rebellious one. “My brother is such a nice kid — he’s quiet and demure compared to me. He’s super 乖 (guai, meaning well-behaved in Chinese)!”

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Despite their differences, the siblings are in unison when they reckon that having famous parents isn’t as glamorous as it seems. In fact, they feel constant pressure to live up to other people’s expectations of them.

Yi Xin says that all her Secondary school mates and teachers knew who her parents are. “So, they have this expectation that I’ll have perfect grades and be a perfect person. But no. I’m still a normal teenager who’s still growing up.”

The part-time actress, who’s managed by 3X Media Productions, notes that she even prevented her parents from showing up in her school because she didn’t want to remind her classmates who her parents are.

“Some schoolmates even thought that I had special treatment by my teachers because of my parents.”

“So, they have this expectation that I’ll have perfect grades and be a perfect person. But no. I’m still a normal teenager who’s still growing up.”

Now that Yi Xi is also a Mediacorp artiste, he feels the pressure to perform well as an actor. “You’ll have an expectation of yourself subconsciously and you don’t want to disgrace your parents [as an actor].”

Incidentally, life with famous parents has its offbeat moments. Yi Xi jokes, “The thing that bothered me when I was younger was — why are [my parents] kissing another person on screen? And did my mum just die [on TV]?! That’s really traumatising, I remember crying so much.”

Yi Xin has a fond fan memory ― her dad’s fans turned up at the airport to welcome him home after the family returned from a holiday. “Some would even hold up signs for him ― social media wasn’t even around at that time ― I was just amazed!”