April 10, 2015

Nang Chong : My Maternal GRndparents' House

This is one of the few photos of my grandparents' house in Ah Nang Chong.

It was washed away by slow erosion caused by the express boats in the 80.s, Today the river bank is actually right behind the house , meaning the erosion has eaten up more than 100 meters of the river bank in the last 30 years.

This is my cousin Lau Ching, eldest daughter of  my Third Uncle, Lau Pang Sing. The wooden house was two storeyed with a staircase going upstairs on the right Each room upstairs had two windows. But there were only three rooms there. Downstairs, there were five units, with the last unit to the left being used by Uncle Wong Dien Ching for his little shop.

On the right or behind my cousin, was the huge kitchen, joined to the main house by a "landor" where my uncle and grandmother used to sit, enjoying the breeze in the evenings, telling stories. Adjacent to the landor was the chiapang, or open balcony where washing was done. A gutter helped to bring rainwater to several diesel drums on the chiapang.

A lot of historical stories could be told by this house if the house could talk!! This house was built in 1938 when my mother was 12 years old. A few years after that my grandmother went back to China, planning to build another house, but her plans were dashed because of the Japanese War. She was stranded in China with Second Uncle, Lau Pang Kui who was attending college in Fuzhou City.

The Japanese Occupation was a difficult time for every one living in this house. My mother was only 16 and she had to plant padi, raised domestic animals to look after third uncle, fourth uncle, fifth aunt while Grandfather was very sick.  Her  story was written as one of the chapters in "Their 3 Years and 8 Months" edited by Chua Jeng Chong.

Grandfather passed away in 1943.

 While in China my second uncle met and fell in love with Aunt Yin Nga, a Fuzhou City girl. After the war, he brought his bride to Sarawak. GRandma also came back with them.

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