The Sibu born Foochow girls were all disciplined well by their parents who were mostly born in Fujian.
Firstly while their mothers had straight hair styles, with no perming allowed, the young girls kept their hair short. This way of cutting hair was called "as high as the ears".
Secondly, short hair was preferred because it was easier to maintain, wash and dried in the hot climate. Mothers did not have to comb their hair too often. Long hair needed a lot of maintenance, combing and plaiting.
Thirdly, short hair also meant that lice would not develop so easily. The best treatment for lice was kerosene. And most of the girls did not like that.
Fourthly - girls could only have their hair cut at home by either their own father or by an older brother who was named "barber of the family".
Fifthly, the style of hair cut was also called Coconut hair style, because the front part covered the forehead , just above the eye brows. When the girls grew older, many would part the hair at the side or in the middle and clip with some hair clips . According to my aunts they did not like their coconut hair style. In Bintangor, my aunts went to the Chinese primary school and later when they were older they went to Yuk Ing Girls school, Sibu as boarders. Two of them were in the same class, in the photo above.
My father's second brother thus became the family's barber and hair stylist for years from the time he was able to cut hair until almost all the sisters could go off to boarding school. He was strict with all the girls and he made sure that their hair was always short.
June 22, 2017
June 20, 2017
My grandmother Siew and Aunty Hiong used to plant a few plots of brinjals and ladies' fingers.
Grandma loved to cook these two vegetables for grandpa Tiong Kung Ping as they were his favourites.
However one dish that was truly memorable was her brinjal soup. Plain cut brinjals in a soup of garlic and perhaps a bit of ikan bilis or a bit of ern chow. But as children we could eat almost anything. She was glad that I learned to eat vegetables and especially her brinjals.
Today, we all love brinjals or egg plants, cooked in any way. Each time I see people growing brinjals I would think of Grandfather and the backyard garden that he started when he moved to the big house on the hill in Sg. Merah.
I will try to re-create the Tiong Kung Ping Brinjal Soup soon.....
Mashed Brinjal Soup with Ern Chow
(Steam the brinjals and then mash well, use a bit of oil to stir fry some garlic until aromatic, add a small spoon of ern chow..and add the mashed brinjal...add water. A fragrant Ming Chiang Soup from Fujian)