February 2, 2013

Yellow Burr Head (Genjer)

When we were young in Sibu, our neighbours would collect Genjer or Paku Rawang for their stir fries. So we also learned to eat this wild vegetables until one day recently we were told to be careful because of some snails' eggs on the stems. All vegetables have infestation problems depending on how and where they are plucked from. We just have to be careful when preparing them.


In Indonesia, the poorest would eat this vegetables plucked from the wetlands. Some city dwellers get to buy them in the market too.

But in the 1940's a folk song was written by Muhammad Arif called Genjer Genjer.

and in the 1950's and 1960's the song was banned by the Soekarno Government because of its association with the Communist Party of Indonesia or PKI.

I think there is no harm we now play the song. It has been sung in Khmer and the tune is actually very lovely. Set to jazz music it is really very soothing.

Just consider the song as a folk song. It is beautiful, like the yellow flowers and fine taste of the young shoots.

The Yellow Burrhead is a great ulam dish served in many restaurants and at homes in West Malaysia.


Ann said...

even the snail bully the poor? I saw this in Bau market, but can't remember if I bought.
I bought so much of different wild plants.

Ann said...

I like Lang kang song better. LOl

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yeah. These snails lay pink eggs(I wrote about them) and frighten a lot of people. In west Malaysia ducks are reared to eat those snail eggs and thus contain the infestation of the snails. But the weeds make the padi fields untidy and cause damage too. Suffering of the poor...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

One day I will post about kang kong and then see if the song lengang kangkong can fit in.

Anonymous said...

how do we say genjer in foochow?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

No Foochow word for this plant. Ya Chui CHai Wild water vegetable. Paku Rawang in Malay. Genjer is Javanese.

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