One thing I remember most about her was the fact she had a very special name. Like so many others girls and boys she did not like to use her given name. .Just like to day's boys and girls who adopt Nama Glamour or Glamorous names we also adopted Christian names.. I also felt rather bad because during our primary school days school mates and sometimes even teachers laughed at our names!
A friend reminded me that her class teacher would pronounce her name wrongly and called her Smelly Glutinous Rice (Chau Chu Mee). In the end she changed her name to Honey Chau. My sister's name was turned to Fly in Chinese. Yet another was XXX the Pig because of her Melanau surname Peck. Teacher pronounced her surname "Pig". Young children below the age of 10 would find it difficult to stand up to bullying like this...my daughter is named Tio which means bright in Indonesian but some kids teased her badly by saying that her parents were stupid to name her "Uncle" (in Italian).
Perhaps Kui Fah was annoyed that people called her Expensive Flower : kui in Chinese also sounds like the word expensive.It also sounds like ghost. So in the end Kui Fah gave herself the name Margaret because in those days Princess Margaret of Great Britain was like the Top Glamour Girl of the world. So she was Margaret from day from the day she adopted the name. She told us not to call her by her Chinese name.
We loved her But we loved her mother too because she would come to the school to bring an exercise book Kiu Fah had forgotten. Her mother was a tall samfu and char kiak (wooden clog) wearing Cantonese lady. Her mother called her Fah..flower from outside the class...Wasn't that nice? But she did not like how her mother call her.
She was a bright girl and did well in school While many of us could only go to university if we won scholarships she went to become a nurse and helped many people.
But perhaps in those days she did not know that her name was really special in Chinese. I know two other ladies having the name Gui meaning Osmanthus My aunt is Kuei Sieng ( Osmanthus Immortal) and another good friend is also Gui Wha (Osmantus flower) So there are actually two Gui Fah or Gui Wha in my life.
Indeed we are all constantly reminded of Kui Fah because of many other Chinese names. Look at the photos here:
|Photo from my friend First Admiral Andong Marzuki (Rt)..He and his family went to Guilin (the land of Osmanthus forest) It is so beautiful|
|Osmanthus Wine (Kui Hua Jiu). this is really a nice tasting wine. I wish we can buy them in Sarawak...|
|White Osmanthus flowers|
|Osmanthus cake in Shanghai|
The guihua plant is called xī (樨) or guìhuā (桂花), and its flowers, called guì huā (桂花, literally "cinnamon flower" or "cassia flower") are used, infused with green or black tea leaves, to create a scented tea called guì huā chá (桂花茶).
In Chinese cuisine, the flowers are also used to produce osmanthus-scented jam (called guì huā jiàng, 桂花醬 or 桂花酱), sweet cakes (called guì huā gāo, 桂花糕), dumplings, soups, and even liquor (called guì huā jiǔ, 桂花酒; or 桂花陈酒, guì huā chén jiǔ). Osmanthus jam is used as an ingredient in a type of gruel called chátāng (茶汤), which is made from sorghum or millet flour and sugar mixed with boiling water. This dish is typical of the northern city of Tianjin, although it may also be found in Beijing.
|A bottle of Guihua sugar|
It was rather sad to receive new s of her passing not long ago. May she rest in peace.
She will always be a a beautiful flower amongst us !! If we can go back in time...we would definitely take our bicycles out and ride right through the town and let go of our handles and say...."yipeeeeeeee"....and for once..let our hair down and be light hearted...