February 8, 2012

My Gipo Detergent " Prizes" or free gifts

Setting up home is not really that easy. In the western world a wedding would often be the time for friends and relatives to collaboratively help the new couple equip the home with some basic gifts for they will ask the bride to make a list of what she wants for her new home. The normal Chinese practice is the "ang pow" that the bride's parents would give to the daughter on the day she gets married. The groom's family will usually give an "ang pow" which traditionally has been the "bride price" or dowry. Some parents putting the two sums of money together would give the bride her "bridal gifts". The last time I saw the bride gifts czrried from the bride's home was in Limbang. Five gifts carried in bamboo poles all the way down along the Kubong road behind a brass band. The car was decorated and turned into a bridal sedan with the lovely bride inside.

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
Dried Flowers
Oven to Table
Microwave Oven and
Dishwasher Safe

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..)


Sunflower said...

Those were the good old days! I can still remember this like yesterday. I think my mum and sis-in-laws had collected quite a few of these 'freebies' crockery, plastic containers etc buying detergents and cooking oil.

Do they still do this kind of promotions in Sarawak or Brunei these days?

I am quite sure the family still have the same pattern plates as the one shown above.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Sunflower..yes it is lovely to collect the good freebies. I normally target the collectibles and give away the plastic containers to friends who like them. Detergents still offer good freebies. My toothpaste Sensodyne gave me a nice container this time. Many go for the free pail with detergent last year. I like the plates (more plates) which came with Darlie..because they have Snoopy in differfent cities of the world. I managed to collect three and the stock ran out. That's my problem...Can't use so much toothpaste..and have to get the largest ones too!! It is really amusing!! And on top of that I like to have half a dozen of plates etc...must give up this addiction.

The Observer said...

the stone ware plates are definitely better than the plates we get today as gifts or freebies from any household purchase.

I like my mother's set. They're quite heavy and the weight has been hard on the cabinets that we used to have. but they're still hardy and good quality plate. My mother never told us the story of her collection or how she collected them -.- i will get her to tell me. it's probably Gipo soap as well.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Observer...these stoneware plates are very heavy and very delightful to use as you cut your steak or chicken chop. Warmed plates also keep the pasta warm for a longer time.

Wink++wink** your mum probably had a lovely time making her collection as I did!!

Anonymous said...

Free gifts are kept by me lovingly..I own no Corelle or Noritake..my life is bliss..won't mind cracking a few plates on a few heads of some stupid politicians.....LOL


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Pumba..I know this could be a nickname..from he Lion King. Well said!! Thanks for dropping by.

Ann said...

you did a lot of laundry?

Ann said...

It must have been 1966 hen the ANG JI GU NEE condensed milk had photos of fish inside the label. Some how, the kids of my Race Course road neighbourhood heard that you get the whole set and exchange for some monetary value of a big some. We pestered our parents to buy this milk, and we guzzled down the milk. We swapped our pictures and hen we finally got the album complete, Mum went to see the salesman.

She came back and said it was a hoarse. It was an exercise to encourage kids to collect the pictures the same ay e collect stamps.

We were all ripped off.

Did you townies get rip off too?

Ann said...

sorry, not hoarse but HOAX, but come to think of it, my mum's voice as probably hoarse after arguing with the salesman.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

No...I had to use the detergent for a year..and some times my family complained that other people use Breeze..better brand!! But actually Baking Soda adds some oomph to our washing ..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

That's a fantastic rip off! I can understand your mum trying to get even with the salesman...
No I cannot remember this particular hoax..what a sad thing to do to innocent young kids!! I hate things like this..

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