My wedding was not at all like that as it was not traditional. By my time bridal gifts tied to bamboo poles.and carried by bare chested men was out of fashion !! Furthermore mine was a simple low keyed event.
How did I collect 36 stone ware plates in one year?
|My friend's Dinner table|
Our Foochow and Sarawakian cultures are not quite the same so to speak. Most newly weds would stay with the in laws in those days and there was little entertainment of friends in the formal and western sense. And culturally a dinner set would not be part of the bridal gifts.
One of the most interesting "collection" I made was the 36 stone ware plates..It was a frenzied time because I had to buy 2 packets of Gipo detergents per week to get one free dinner plate!! That was a very nostalgic year for me in Sungei Merah where we bought our own home.
And I do believe that this free gift was so popular that we had to hover around the sundry shop to wait for the new batch of free gifts and Gipo soap powder at weekends!! I remember I would bring my two small children then to Sungei Merah and wait for the goods to unload even!! It was also an anxious time because there were quite a number of ladies waiting for the same purpose. The "towkay" was kind and the most he could allow each one of us to buy was 4x2..That meant that I could buy up to 8 boxes of Gipo and take home 4 plates...In the end my whole collection took me a year ..That was both tense and fun.
And cousins would compare their collection over the phone. It was almost like our younger days of collecting marbles and stamps...
A friend once commented "You still have them? None broken?"
And I answered "Yes...almost complete set...and I have not been throwing them at my husband ...It is just not a Foochow habit to break bowls or plates when angry!!"
He answered..."Ah...more men should marry Foochow girls..."
Recently to my surprise my friend brought her set all the way from Miri to Perth!! And she owns one of the bigger serving plates too to match the dinner plates!! How delightful!
Naturally I have broken some of the stone ware plates through wear and tear but after 30 years I still have 28 of them left.
Today I suppose lagies (and some men) will continue to collect stamps) to buy some items in Parkson's or Supa Save.....
Collecting these free gifts can be quite memorable..and it does make one quite proud of one's achievements.
Ever since I took a course on Chinese Ceramics in my university days I have the habit of checking the hall marks of any ceramics/ware. I don't consider myself rude at all when I turn plates over to look. I am just like any interested ceramic lover...trying to look for that famous hall mark which may make the owner rich beyond her/his dreams...may be a Tang Dynasty ware? A celadon? or a Ming Dynasty blue and white?
The Gipo plates have these marks..
Mountain Wood Collection
Oven to Table
Microwave Oven and
thank you thank you Gipo for bringing so much joy to my table for so many years!!
Now I am wondering if I should ask friends and readers to let me have some more of these plates if they want to retire them.? ....
(Please also note that my friend has a good collection of other dinner sets over the years besides these lovely stoneware..)