December 1, 2014

Sibu Tales : Ribbons for My Hair


I was brought up by a very frugal and minimalist mother who did not believe in buying those extra frills for her daughters. I cannot remember if I ever had my hair tied by my mother or my short hair receiving a ribbon when I was very young. My first ribbon was given to me by an aunt when I passed my Primary Six Exam. And when I went to secondary school, my mother gave me some money to buy ribbons for my hair to match the school uniform. I still remember I bought a short piece at Hua Kwong General Store of Sibu at Central Road, which was owned by the Cantonese Leong Family.

One year later, my grandfather passed away and I had either to wear black or white ribbon or rubberised hair band to tie up my lush hair. Or I just wore a pony tail without any trimmings.

However lifestyle and cultural norms change with time.

My girls were different from me but I continued, probably wrongly, with the old Foochow way of thinking.


If little girls have their wishes today (2lst century)  they would wish for

1. ribbons for their hair
2. pretty dainty shoes
3. a big  flirty skirt, or a tiny tiny see through mini skirt (with a protector pants)
4. lacy blouse
5. long hair tied in pony tails
6. dolls with blue eyes and may be real hair to comb
7. a birthday party
8. a best friend
9. white frilly socks / stockings
10. a nice school bag
11.doc Martins
12. iPad,iPhone,etc


But,one has to understand that different cultures would bring up their daughters in different ways and often mothers in a cross cultural marriage would find it most difficult to meet with the aspirations and dreams of their lovely daughters who may think differently and dream differently.

Children in foster homes or orphanages would also have their dreams but how are their dreams met?

This Christmas let us think of all those children who are being brought up by  adults who are not their biological parents and pray for them that they too grow up in love and with God's protection.

I would like to pay particular and special tribute to fathers , widowed or not widowed, who have "combed their daughters' hair and put ribbons on their pony tails...wiped their tears away...and cleaned their scrapped knees...and took them for swimming lessons or dance lessons...or just spend quality time with their young daughters ."

The new generation of parents  should be bringing up their children better with all the education they have and with guidance/knowledge from every corner of the earth....and especially Dr.Google.....

I would also like to pay  a special tribute to all mothers who struggle to put a worthy spiritual life into their children while trying their best to keep even her own body free from physical and verbal abuses.....

And to my own mum who cut all our hair short.....because when she was young (BEFORE THE  SECOND WORLD WAR) she had the "navy hair cut " (very short ) . She continues to maintain that the best hair is short and straight but well washed and neat.

Honestly, I never did once wish I could wear long hair with a hibiscus in the hair and clad my body in a sarong and walk along the beach with a wonderful guy ....

..But my greatest wish was two swords on my back and riding a horse to right the wrong and kill the wicked!! Under the influence of the One Armed Swordsman indeed!!

 "Ja! Ja! To my horse, let's go...Mulan is on the way!!"

And then I too brought up my three girls and made them keep short hair...

but if I could do it all over again I really would want to give them ribbons for their hair and lace for their little dresses....I would like to spend more time with them playing "house"...yes indeed I would like to spend more time singing and praying with them.

Today with my post is a song by Jim Reeves...do enjoy it as you rush around with Christmas busy-ness and end of the year meetings....Take time to listen to your children's prayers...