June 20, 2012

Malakilin and Mani bian

I wonder if many of the Foochow relatives and friends still remember one kind of biscuits we used to eat in Sibu - Malakilin...

Of course we were not enlightened until many years later what we ate were actually BUTTER CREAM biscuits. If you check some of the biscuits now sold as assorted biscuits by Thye Hong or Danone..you could still see the words on the biscuits. Two layers of biscuit with a butter cream sandwich. Having a sweet tooth my siblings and I would always lick the cream off first and then pretend to drop the biscuits..and let the cats eat them up!!

Another favorite biscuit is the gem biscuits which we called BU SAI Bian or belly button biscuits.

The tin below is the genuine product...we bought the Made in Sibu ones by the katis. These biscuits went with us to the school as we did not have any pocket money. We brought along water in a bottle (usually a tomato sauce bottle and later when we were older we brought a Sun Valley bottle in our baskets). We had 15 cents if we had afternoon classes.



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In those days we heard of Jacob and Co...and looked at the tins of biscuits in the shops like Kim Guan Siang....
These were contemporary biscuits of the day but the Foochows of Sibu had their own  "imitation" biscuits made by the Sibu bakeries...

Another biscuit we could buy by the katis was the MARIE biscuits...and indeed they were sold in this way....from a tin which had a glass "window"......we Foochows call them Mani Bian...

One of my future photo hunts would be to discover this kind of tins in some old style sundry shops in Miri.

Hope I can still find them and photograph them....my mother would be happy to see the photos..and say...yes..that's what childhood is all about...buying biscuits with hard earned and hard saved money...to live one day at a time..and not worry too much that money would not go beyond the 23rd of each month....God has indeed kept a good watchful eye over  the fatherless children of Brooke Drive and kept the spirit of the widow strong. Mum would always have a few biscuits at the bottom of the tin .....

23rd of every month? Now that is the Pension Collection day ...and bills must be paid between 23rd and 30th of each month in Malaysia.

This morning I am going to buy some Mani bian..some malakilin bian and some busai bian....I think we can get them by the 100 grams now in some outlets....

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