August 3, 2010

Climbing Ferns

Do you remember the games you used to play when young?

We lived next to a Malay rubber garden which later was turned into a residential area. Thus we had a small clearing in the garden to play our games and we had a lot of fun playing hide and seek and even playing "thieves and soldiers". We built our own Aladdin's Cave and every now and then my father would send some one to make sure that we were safe. And any way boys and girls played well together in those days. The Malay rubber garden owner was Abang Koh and was a great friend of my father's. This piece of land in those days was between the Methodist Secondary School and my father's land in Brooke Drive.

I remember fondly that we played bride and bridegroom too. We played masak masak and of course we won and lost plenty of marbles. We played eagle and mother hen too. Rope skipping was even done on the mud surfaced road when in the evenings very few cars passed by.

This climbing fern was used for our make believe bride and bride groom and bridesmaids. We even played a version of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream with these ferns placed on our hair.



Later one of the aunties was arrested because the Police and CID officer said that she was a Communist sympathizer. Her relatives came to tell us about her unfortunate situation and warned us not to play in the rubber garden any more.

So we did stop playing with each other as curfew was from six in the evening until six in the morning. We sort of lost our precious childhood. Or was it because we outgrew friends and games?

In the jungles the twines would be very useful for making of baskets. In some villages in Sarawak the twines are even used to make handbags of fairly good quality!!

11 comments:

Ah Ngao said...

over in Kuching,there's this village along Kuching/Serian road called Tapah.during the "sua giao chu "eras,the whole village was fenced up and of coz - curfew.back then ,i think i was still having my "chut chut" (pacifier) in my mouth

Sarawakiana@2 said...

yeah 1863-1972 were the closest years to the so called emergency in Sarawak - The Sukarno Government threatened the existence of Malaysia and later the Communists did their turn of political upheaval... My sisters and I were young enough to play Ah Seng and Eagle and Mother Hen....kekekek. That was how I entertained my siblings and the neighbour's children... Those were the days....Pacifiers are nice aren't they?

Bengbeng said...

i used to play with spiders and catapults .. it seems such a long time ago. what happened to the auntie?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

The Auntie was in the New Village cum Detention Camp in Kuching for more than 7 years. I wrote to her and sent her Bible Verses to comfort her. She is still around but frail already.

Yeah I need a catapult to shoot squirrels and rats nowadays!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Above comment by me has a typo error - should read 1963-1972....

Anonymous said...

U played marbles on those old days? Thought only the boys played....IV

Anonymous said...

hi Sarawakiana

i think the fern is a species of Lygodium.

Greenspot

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Anonymous...
No I think both boys and girls along Kung Ping Road played marbles..We drew a square with a line in the middle and then arranged the marbles at the "joints" or meeting points of the lines. we must hit the marbles with our marble (which we called the king) If we hit the target marbles we get to take that marble into our possession. We had those clay marbles - those cheap and big white or grey ones. The coloured ones were for another game and also Chinese checkers. I remember many times a many of ours were stolen but Mum was not annoyed. She always said Never Mind... Keep your possessions well next time. Don't fight.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thank you Greenspot. I tried to search for its scientific name or species name but failed on the internet...

I would really like to write about ferns in my surrounding....

How's your book/s coming out? Cheers.

Ann said...

heheheh,

May be Sibu girls played with marbles. I played with my brothers and our neighbouring boys.

I remember those big clay ones, some of them as so big, and can easily crack the others. Strange, there was no complain that the BIG marble had an unfair advantage. (after all, you who can afford the big marbles, that's your business.)

We kids in the Govt quarters play the same games as you in the town.

The New Zealand kids don't play AH SENG. Sometimes I feel like teaching them. Then selfish me, I don't want to spend my morning tea and lunch teaching students.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann
You are right. so many girls during my time played with marbles and won lots. I think siblings liked playing marbles with each other. And also they ganged up playing with others so that they could go home with more marbles. I remember my friends lovingly counting their marbles and putting them in a special bag sewn by their mother.

I still love Ah Seng.....I remember one older girl teaching us how to play that...

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