the Bubuk Season is ongoing in Miri at the moment and Luak Bay is full of men and women and children moving along the water edges with their PAKA.
The fishermen and fisherwomen who go to sea with their motorised boats continue with their daily work and come home with large trays of MACKEREL or ma ka.
Here Wahid and his family netted some huge mackerels this morning.
This mackerel is 6 kg.
With customers asking only for slices,or steaks Mrs. Wahid kindly cut the fish....
I like the parts below the stomach. This is a MALE mackerel.
My lunch this afternoon. I wish my children are here to share the fresh fish.
You see I am far away from Nang Chong Village now where my grandmother used to live. She would love to have a bit of this. Foochow way of eating the mackerel would be cutting up the fish into small pieces and deep fried. In those days, the mackerels she bought were small, around 1 kg. and nothing like the 6 kg monsters we get today.
Foochow fishermen with their old wooden boats without the help of ice in those days, could not go very far into the sea. Most of the time, they would make salted fish straight away. Wet salted fish or dry salted fish.
Life for those Foochow fishermen were tough, they had no handphones, no wireless radios, no radar. A few men were lost at sea. When life became too tough and the Communists over ran the state, they gave up their boats and took up rough work in Sibu as labourers.
In actual fact, according to one Foochow uncle, some of our Foochow pioneers were fishermen to start with in China and when they came to Sibu, they started padi farmer and pepper farming. Rubber planting was an entire new kind of work for them.
So you can imagine the cultural shock they had and how amazing it was for them to survive the changes in life.
And in the same way, our tastes have also slowly changed and evolved. We have learned to use belacan, chillies, pepper. We have learned to smoke our fish, grill our fish, and bake. Times are changing and we have to learn to adopt, adapt. And be adept.