November 30, 2014

Sibu Tales : Measuring of Rice by Milk Tins

As we grew up in a very closed Foochow community, we were often reminded of our community's rich legacy of rags to riches stories, moral lessons and wise sayings and naturally our dialect's poetry and songs.

Our best lessons are those of brotherly and neighbourly love and care, a lot of borrowing, giving, help and lending of a hand.

One of my father's dearest cousin and biggest support was an uncle who started with very humble beginnings and he himself told us the stories of his younger days, as a way of teaching us great values. For that we were slowly trained in good Foochow ways.

When Uncle D.K. was young, he often was asked to go next door to borrow two tins of rice.

His father, my grandfather's cousin, was a daily paid worker. Sometimes the towkay did not pay him and he would go home (near the present Rajang Park Lane 23) where his wife and children would also have done a good day's work of rubber tapping, and vegetable gardening.

If the rice tub was empty at that long past dinner time, Uncle DK's mother would ask him to go next door with a little cotton bag. The Foochows then were very careful with rice and a bag was the safest way of carrying rice, so that not a grain was dropped.

The two guong/kong/tin of rice would half fill the stomachs of the family for a few days. Cash would come in when Grand Uncle got paid, or when the family was able to send dried rubber sheets to the town for sale.

Immediately when they had cash, they would buy rice and food...

First thing first, they would return the two tins or more of rice to their helpful neighbour.

IN this way, Granduncle slowly bought 6 acres of rubber land and later uncle DK built up his special business empire.

Uncle DK would always say,"Be kind, be humble, be honest, be fair, never cheat, never steal, never lie..."

He is one man who lives by Foochow ethics and values.

A good ,inspiring Foochow Success story.

1 comment:

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

same in the Chan's house. Now I use a plastic cup.

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