Based on the literature i study, Tanjong Rhu, I have learned the setting of this story. 

The physical setting is it is set at Singapore. The family is fairly affluent as Mr. Li is a shipyard owner although at one time, he was living in a hut in Tanjong Rhu.

 Besides that, the house, the altar and their lifestyle reflects their wealth and position in society.  Not only that, Mrs. Li has tea parties with her friends, a social practice of the rich where rich cakes and perfumes features. The son of Mr and Mrs Li  is studying in Cambridge while the daughter is on her way to study at New York soon.