December 15, 2009

Barefooted Boy Selling Duku Langsat in Bintulu

True it is the holidays - kids are free to help their parents do a little bit of business.

My recent trip to Bintulu with two good friends resulted in a big harvest of stories and photos. There are so many scenes which can be captured by camera!! Only have to bring more bytes in the memory card.

I love this little boy - seller of duku langsat. Normally shy little Iban boys are not too confident about being photographed. He has been watching me. At first he was playing with the small rope that fixes his huge umbrella to the floor. I snapped a picture of him. And then he got closer to the fruits to indicate his ownership. He held on tight to the pole attached to the umbrella. The lights became dimmer as the rain came down slightly more heavily and I could not get a shot of his hopeful eyes.

And then through my senses I realised that he was barefooted.

What is he thinking of? What are his dreams?

Standing outside the tamu he had an umbrella to protect him from the rain (and it was raining) and the sun. He seemed to be quite organised with the plastic bags tied to one of the bigger baskets.

Would he sell all of his fruits? He answered " Usually. Especially in the weekend."

I hope one day he will be a successful person and contribute to the well being of Bintulu. Perhaps his story will be one of those rags to riches story in the making. I hope he can rise above the levels of poverty. But first he must remain in school at all costs. And I hope his village will look after him and his future. Hillary Clinton wrote "It takes a village to raise a child."

There is a Malay Pantun that says...

Buah cempedak di luar pagar,
Ambil galah tolong jolokkan;
Saya budak baru belajar,
Kalau salah tolong tunjukkan.

"If wrong please teach me..." yes the onus is on the elders.....


Bengbeng said...

recently u have been waxing lyrical in yr posts ;)

Ah Ngao said...

probably this boy in primary 4 or 5,helping his parents to earn a living while my boys go holidaying ,...*sigh*(hopefully my kids grows up to appreciates).well,even if they don't appreciates,its okay lah i think - they got to see and learn for themselves.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Bengbeng

Aren't we all poets at heart? We just need to arrange the words together in the correct beat or rhythm....and especially when our "emotions overflow" (Wordsworth)

Have a great week.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ah Ngao

Children are perceptive. We just have to guide them with a firm hand.

An educator once said that if kids don't learn properly in life and take hold of their own fortunes God will strike them (an accident or a death or a disease). With that significant life turning experience they change and turn into a new leaf. These turn arounds become stories worth telling (e.g. best sellers).

But he continued to say why should we allow that to happen if we can help to prevent such tragic consequences in the first place. He recommended early spiritual training of the young.

I believe in laying down strong foundations too if it is possible.

Anonymous said...

It is unusual to find barefooted child selling fruits in this tamu . But many who come from the Ulu are not wearing any shoes.

I personally find it quite common to see barefooted people in Sarawak.

Now if you see bare breasted women in Bintulu tamu that will be a different story lah.

May be just don like to wear shoes. Or he lose his shoes? Or keep his shoes for school only?

Ann said...

Did his parents demand you pay him some money for taking his photos?

I prefer Buah Langsat. In Singapore, I was exposed to duku and duku langsat. The Buah Langsat is still the best.

Ah Ngao said...

Dear Sarawakiana,i have to reply your replies again becoz i still thinks theres "something more" than a firm(soft and moderate hand i tried oledi)hand in guiding them.parents showing excellent or very good examples most of the time ain't gonna guaranteed the children would follow suit.sometimes the parents are so "orderly organized" and yet one or two of their children gets off the track.i describes parents with good kids as now you can see ,my "something more" refers to simply - lucky.hehe...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann
I gave hand signals to the boy to take his photo and he shyly agreed. He was holding on to the rope. Later he walked closer to the umbrella and posed sweetly. His parents were no where to be seen.

My friends bought langsat from him and I took some more photos.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Ah Ngao

I only know too well what you mean. Some of the best and most qualified parents have "problem" children. And yet some of the most illiterate parents have disciplined and highly disciplined children. Luck is probably a very important element.

Hope all will try to be good parents and children also try to be good children.

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