September 20, 2009

A Good "Hand" and Rearing Ducks in Sg. Bidut

This is Lau Yiing Dee (left) born in Sg. Bidut of Sibu and came to Miri in the early 1990's. He reminded me of a very important Foochow saying " Hor Chui Siok" which means "good hand".

He shared with me his illustration of this Foochow saying. His family lived with his grandmother for many years before moving to Miri. While growing up he had already his home based business of rearing ducks together with his grandmother.

His grandmother would buy a whole brood of ducklings like these and they would be divided exactly into half. He would get half and his grandmother half. They would not select and choose their own ducklings. However when the growth was reviewed from time to time and when finally the ducks were to be slaughtered his ducks would always be much bigger than his grandmother's.

It was not just once but many times. He and his grandmother would always try to rear their ducks in this way. Each partner would rear his/her own. In fact Grandmother fed her ducks better because she was at home most of the time and often she would cook rice and give the best food to her ducks. Yiing Dee confessed that he would sometimes forget to feed his ducks!! But each brood of his would always be bigger than his grandmother's. It became a great family legend.

To the Foochows this is called Chiu Siok (good hand).

And this brings me back to the times of my younger days. I would hear stories of grandmothers who had a good "hand" in raising children. Their children never "cried". But once these kids went back to their mothers they would whimper and cry non-stop!!

Some baby sitters also had good "hands". The children they took care of never got sick. I suppose even with HINI the children would be safe. When I was in Sibu those baby sitters with famous good "hand" were very very popular.

I remember my son's baby sitter (Mrs. Lau Kiing Tieng) a cousin also has a very good "hand". All the babies who went to her grew to be bouncing babies!! Not only that when we visited her not long ago she proudly told us that all the children she looked after have graduated and in fact two are doctors. My son is in his third year at varsity I told her and she seemed so pleased when she heard that.

One lady told me that she has a good "hand" too in raising children. When her grandchildren came to visit her they would sleep very soundly and have a great appetite. They would gobble up everything she cooked. When they went back to their mothers they would be sickly and lose their appetite! They would never give their mother a good night's sleep.

I think it goes across the board. Some people have good "hand" in business and so they thrive and accumulate a lot of wealth. Perhaps other pull and push factors which help them too like opportunities or the right deal coming along. But I personally feel that it has something to do with a good blend of nature and nurture and a lot of common sense in whatever we deal with. And definitely a person with a "good hand" which comes with his nature will be a winner.

Do you believe in Chiu Siok?


Ah Ngao said...

i do.there's an old man i know.he plants vegetables on any stony,unfertile barren land and his vegetables just thrive - a real good hand. there're those babby sitters with good hand too.loves-to-cry babies are tamed by these good hands too.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao
My notebook has to be reformatted...and I am lucky to be able to use a friend's.

Your ah pek friend has what the westerners call "green thumb". They believe in that too.

Yes isn't it amazing that some people have those "good hands"?

Sigh...I have very ordinary hands.

God bless.

Sibu Tales : Liver in the Noodles and other stories

I grew up in Sibu where the butchers' corner was the most significant "part" of the old market. It was where many people wo...