January 11, 2017

Nang Chong Stories : Sourcing for Food during the Japanese Occupation

During the Japanese Occupation my mother often had to row her own boat, and sometimes with a group of friends, towards Sg. Assan, above Pulau Kerto, to collect "buckets of paku".



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The rowing of boats by Foochow women was a normal, daily chore. It was not surprising at all. It would be like driving a car or a motor cycle today.

The Foochow women would follow the timing of the tides. When the tide rose, they would pedal upriver to collect the paku or ferns. And after two or three hours, the tide would ebb and they quickly followed the flow of the river water back.

Going home was an easy task according to my mum. And it would often be just right for the evening meal. Sometimes it would be for the afternoon meal.

Mum said during that period of 3 years and 8 months, they had to be careful not to be seen by Japanese boats. But fortunately God protected them and very few Japanese soldiers would patrol along the rather remote part of that special area of the Rajang.

(Note: Sg Assan already had a small Foochow community. In the next few decades after the war,  a Methodist Church and a school were built led by my mother's cousin, Lau Tiew Nguong who was a great local evangelist.)


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Becareful. Eating certain type of ferns can cause stomach cancer. They are very well documented in Wlaes and Japan.

Ensurai said...

Thanks. Noted.

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