September 16, 2010

Teacher what's your love story?

I wonder how many teachers do find that their secondary school students love to ask their favourite married teachers to tell them their personal love stories very innocently. Some teachers do tell nice stories while others just have to create a beautiful fictional tale to entertain them. Others tell their students to keep quiet and don't ask questions.

Personally I believe that questions open doors of communication. And why not?

Once a colleague of mine asked the other teachers what story they would tell. Most would say they would tell the story of a successful love which materialised into a marriage. Others said they would just put in summary - how they met and then how they got married.

I think I would tell my story of collecting saga seeds and waiting for a boy to give me some.

Here's a peep into a window of a young Foochow girl's perception of puppy love.

When we were young we only had Cathay Kris Movies (P.Ramlee and Ibrahim Pendek ) and many of the Tarzon movies besides Lindai and other Hongkong stars to stir our imagination. thus notions of romantic love came from movies. Magazines were rare and comics were simple children's fare. Chick lits were not in fashion yet. Even newspapers were very small versions with limited news. Romances amongst adults were kept from us children. No one jumped off roof tops or into the river becauswe of a broken love affair. Of course there were whispers behind doors but they were not for our ears. When adults talked children were shoo-ed away!

Like any small little girl I had my romantic dreams of meeting a Prince Charming and riding away with him on a white horse or being kissed by Prince Charming and waking up like Sleeping Beauty and then live happily ever after. We were in love with fairy tales.


As far as I can recall my first lessons (heart to heart talk actually) about romantic love all those years ago were with my older cousins who were in secondary school when I asked why they liked the red saga seeds ....

They picked saga seeds...those red ones called Thinking about love (Xiang Sii dou) beans. They filled jars and jars of them . Other cousins made nice pictures from these red beans and I remember a remarkably red heart made entirely of these beans. Some stringed them like beads. And I enjoyed collecting them under the saga trees for them. It was such a joy to collect these seeds.

They told me that one day one boy who might like me would give me some of these red beans. By the way... no boy ever gave me any ... 50 years later I continue to pick them myself ....LOL. I suppose only some boys then were romantic and "free in spirit" and they gave them to my lucky cousins and school mates. Many of the nice boys actually "disappeared into the jungle for their Communist idealism and were never heard of again". And several of the others went away to work for timber camps and grew to be tycoons in Indonesia. And then many of my school mates conveniently married the rest of the eligible guys hand picked by their parents. Yes in those days marriages were still match made and arranged by family elders . End of story here.

Do Foochow Prince Charmings still give red beans to Foochow Princesses today?

Art teachers in my primary school gave us lessons on making nice pictures by gluing these pretty red seeds on art paper. I believe teachers continue to do this and pupils continue to learn more about seeds and nature.



My saga trees are huge in the vicinity...and when they bloom they are nice to look at....



Saga blooms...


More seeds...but when the pods are brown and dried up they make the trees look rather sad....and I know the season is over...and another round of blooms will come again in a few months' time...

Seasons come and seasons go....and there will come days when little girls will pick up saga seeds and ask questions.....

Dedicated to all my seniors and cousins who used to collect saga seeds in the Methodist Secondary School in Sibu. Some of the trees are still there.....
(P/s the seeds are really quite poisonous so children have to be warned not to chew them)





10 comments:

Ghosty Nana said...

now i know why my bro collect it and gave it to his gf.. Reminded that I asked the same question to you. But I want to know the whole love story!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi N...you got me trapped...now I waited for the boy to give me some saga seeds. He never did but I did not jump into a river.. may be he gave the seeds to other girl(s)......hahahahah

Bengbeng said...

one day ..one fine day u will receive yr red saga seeds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cHsPCAZlP4

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Bengbeng

thanks for the laughter....and your great sense of humour...this guy will come with his wheelchair (God forbid!!) and with trembling hands give me the wrinkled saga seeds....hahahah

that's a nice fairy tale ending.

wenn said...

such interesting story!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Wenn
Growing up stories are always interesting....

Ann said...

nobody ever gave me any saga seeds. LOL

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I used to collect them too. Ahh, those days when I was so young, innocent, gay and carefree. A small country bumpkin went searching for those dropped red seeds under the saga trees in the evening, aahhh...how my heart beats with a sense of serenity just reminiscing about it now. Once, my kid brother found one (from my collection) and poked into his nose! LOL. My mom went frantic.

Indeed, growing up stories are always interesting and always sentimental too. Maám, this is a heartfelt and nostalgic write-up. I enjoy reading it.

Thanks for sharing.

Josephine

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann
don't worry...many pretty girls (LOL) like us did not get red saga seeds....what treasures some people have missed...hahahahahah....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Josephine...I love growing up stories...and usually they are unique in so many ways.

I love that story of your kid borhter having one seed in the nose. My daughter (R) had a soya bean in her nose for a few days...but the time we realised it...it was already soft....What a fright we had. It had to be taken out by a doc.

These always give us a smile and a jolt in the heart.

Lot of love.....

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