April 15, 2011

"My Life Downriver"

Here's a memorable English Composition by a student years ago......I am glad I can still remember the gist of his  writing.....His writing struck a cord in my heart ......

By the way it would be interesting to revise some of the Foochow geographical terms. The local term "Downriver" is a Sibu terminology and only perhaps the Sibu people can understand. Downriver or "Ah Kiirng" means all the villages along the Rajang below Sibu. In Bahasa Malaysia the word is Hilir. The opposite word is upriver (Sirng Kiirng" or Ulu/hulu. In the past some people would even say "half the river" or "buang Kiirng" or "guo kiirng" which is across the river (this actually refers to Sg. Bidut)." "Kui Nga Kiirng" means confluence ..or where the river divides itself into two streams or distributaries.

I grabbed this photo from Mr. Chua's album for my post today...it is so beautiful...the mist at the back still feels cold . Thank you Mr. Chua.




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My Life Downriver.....
(focus on the Present Tense)

My life in Sg. xxxx is very simple. The days are full of activities. The nights are quiet.

My day  starts with the sound of our one and only alarm clock which  wakes up every one. It is to wake up my parents and my siblings and I and especially my Grandmother. My grandmother  sets the alarm clock at 4 a.m.


(Google images......Sorry cannot find one at 4 a.m.)

My father starts the wood fire in the stove and makes breakfast of hot tea and porridge. We  have breakfast which is simple porridge and peanuts. To make the porridge very tasty we depend on our very important soya sauce which is made in China.






(Mushroom soy sauce made in China...Pearl River Brand)

And even when it is still dark and little birds still singing from the tree branches we go on our way to school in Sibu. Waiting for the  ferry is fun because we are able to show off our cycling and balancing skills....Girls and boys don't look at each other as the girls always have their heads bow down. It is not time yet for me to look at girls and may be I should not even write about this. So boys make a lot of noise among ourselves. I like making noise....I am a noisy person.
......
School is important because we will get a good education and become useful citizens. When I grow up I will want to give my grandmother and parents a good life. I work hard and do all my homework in the day time. I also help my father chop wood. Sometimes I collect the drift wood from the river especially during high tide. And at night I  have a quiet time....and I do hope good dreams come to me when I sleep.

My grandmother always says...good people have good dreams and they will wake up fresh for the next day.....Bad people have bad dreams. Definitely I do not want to have bad dreams. I will be good and listen to my grandmother's wise words.

I really want to be a good boy and have good days in the future......

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As I refelct on my present students' lifestyle....it is unbelieveable so much has changed. Most of the college students drive their own cars to school and ill up the car parks nest to their college. During the holidays you can see a lot of empty parking lots. So you can see the difference very easily.

And I am so proud of all my Sibu students who came to school riding their bicycles in the 70's and 80's .........especially one special boy who is from Sg. Bidut. May God bless him abundantly.

12 comments:

向日葵啊伯 said...

Hahaha...enjoy reading this.
Never seem a beautiful alarm clock in those days. That is a Cantonese porridge, foochow "mo-ju" you still see the rice. Same "dou-yu" miss it so much. I rode my "popochia" to school. I was a "liu-lian kian" student, had bad dreams all the times. Enjoy this very much. Thanks!

William said...

Haha... good good. I still can't figure out where would be "Ah Kiirng" or "Sirng Kiirng" as Sibu was/is in the middle of nowhere other than the majestic Rajang river. So, it depends on which direction I am standing as "Ah Kiirng", I will then point to my left and "Sirng Kiirng", I should be pointing to my right?! LOL... that is foochow and I need to be there to understand.
When I was working in Singapore, my neighbour asked whether I am from "sua den" (ie, mountain top)? To them "sua den" is peninsula. haha...

Ann said...

can't believe that down river comes from Sibu,

I don't cook with soya sauce these days. Some family members don't like the preservatives.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann....We have been using the term Downriver all the time in Sibu . It should be an adverb ...More correctly...one should say...My home is a little down the river from here. or My long house is several miles up the river from Sibu.

Yeah....an uncle of mine will never use soy sauce because he thinks that the process of making it is very dirty...he does not believe in eating food that is fermented either!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Peter...nice to know that you like the article....I was wondering what to write to do justice to the photo by Mr. Chua...He has some very very good photos of Sibu. I haven't heard the term liu lian kian for so long...I am surprised downriver people also a little liu lian? I thought all of them very good!! LOL.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

William...any part of the river towards the sea below where you are standing is downriver...i.e. downstream like in oil refinery....

I did not know that Peninsular Malaysia is sua den oh....ho ho ho....

Anonymous said...

Recently Chung Cheng School students had a dinner. Many remembered their bicycles and motor cycle days. And of course many used to walk miles and miles to go to schooll...without shoes!!


Good writing as always.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous...yes I heard about the CCS Alumni gathering. I think many of my friends took photos...but I have not seen yet. You see Miri and Sibu do not get the same pages in See Hua Daily News....so often I am out of touch. It would be nice to get HOME news.TQ for writing.

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