April 5, 2012

Nang Chong Stories :Old Timers of Nang Chong

My late uncle Hii Wen Hui still has many relatives living in Nang Chong. Cousin Ah Ing continues to live in their old but lovely wooden house by the banks of the river Rajang.

The house is very airy and comfortable. A visit to the house  takes you back 40 years into the past!! They have kept many of the old "stuff" and continue to use them in the kitchen and in the other parts of the house.

One old fashioned habit continues - "hanging treasured photos from China on the wall in the living room". In a way they still feel connected to China of the 1900-1920.

Happy and well loved Ah Ing who is now in her 80's. She is wearing a sarong  in the heat of the day like Elle Mcpherson!!

Cousin Wong holding up an old Foochow Hui Keen (or tong) standing next to the wood framed mud stove. (PHoto by Wong Meng Lei)

We were entering a living Foochow pioneer museum and we just could not stop asking questions which made them very happy. Our hour with them was a respite for them too. They had been living a quiet life.

 Ah Ing told me that the next day she would visit the big hospital in Sibu for treatment. It really sounded like a well planned trip my grandmother would have made 50 years ago!! But then she and Hieng Kiu would be going by motor bike!! And the bridge across the Igan would make their travel so much easier. Half an hour instead of the two hours by motor launch.

Wong Hieng Kiu - they live in a dust free and  unpolluted home!!

Lovely view of the river from their house.

They have not been left behind by time!

they have a tv and a radio. Their children have gone to college and a daughter in law is a trained graduate teacher

They are using gas from tanks. A motor bike serves them well. Piped water and government electricity supply make their life so easy ....

Newspapers keep them well informed and the Methodist Church almost next door gives them a lot of moral support. Six families near by make a good cluster of a small village. In line with Sarawak local government set up they could actually elect a Tuai Rumah or Tua Kampong.!

 This area has a Penghulu who lives not too far away.

Sibu is just half an hour away...You would give up city life for a nice wooden house in Nang Chong..where there is no pollution But the dangers of floods and erosion would be looming over your heads if we think seriously about setting up home on the banks of the Rajang at this particular point .

However there is a small trickle of people moving back to Nang Chong now to rear ducks and to live an environmentally friendly life.

What will the next 30 years be like? No one can really tell. But definitely there will be more changes.


Anonymous said...

You like this part of Sarawak so much better. You should come back to live in Sibu.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks...I have been thinking about it but I have to do something about my home and family in Miri..the old Chinese saying of Marry Duck follow Duck...marry dog follow dog..

May be one day...God's will.

Yan said...

Aiya, CY, it 's marry chicken follow chicken, not duck lah. chicken don't talk to duck, they don't understand each other.

I have forgotten things like "How-dieh" "Hui-keen"! Oh, thanks for the memories....

Anonymous said...

What is the name for the pipe that you blow in air to make the fire stronger?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yan..hahahahas I marrieder duck loh...Yeah..I remember now that marry chicken follow chicken..(sometimes I get all the Chinese proverbs mixed up)..Yeah..when things get into disuse..we forget about them...obsolete..and delete...
You are always welcome to memories..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Anonymous...the pipe you blow into to make fire bigger...is called hui kwong..kwong as in pipe. (so it is a fire pipe)..In the Philippines you can still find them..the chefs use them to blow the charcoal fires to roast whole pigs...you can get the scene in Youtube. cheers.

Anonymous said...

Ah Ing and her husband Hieng Kiu are true romantics. They still hold hands whenever they go into town...just let you know. Lovely couple and you have written about them well.We love them too. Thank you.


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Lau

Thanks for the info. Looking at Ah Ing and Hieng Kiu one would know how comfortable they are with each other . Yes it is good to know that these two are still in synch and tango in life!! How blest they are..old timers with good old timers' values..I would like to visit again.

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