September 4, 2015

Sungei Merah Stories : Cherng Mee Lan

Years ago as a child I loved visitng my grandparents with my father. It was an act of filial piety for him and at the same time Grandfather loved to see his grandchildren.

One of the best memories I have of him was his love for fragrant flowers. He must have developed a great love for aromatherapy since his youth in Fujian. When he migrated to Sarawak with his father and younger brother, he must have felt homesick for the flowers, for the plants and the vegetables.

Around his house he grew bouganvillea, bai yu lan and cherng mee lan which I only discovered recently to have originated in Fujian. Some Foochows must have brought cuttings to Sarawak.

Photo I took of the Chern Mee Lan plant in Ginsha, where lots of Tiong Clan of Sarawak originated from.
My family friend Wong Yuk Fen found out the Chinese names fror this plant. He is a wizard . A person who can find lots of answers with just one click.

中文学名: 米兰 中文别名: 树兰、米仔兰、碎米兰 Chinese Perfume Plant
英文名: Aglaia odorata
•Aglaia odorata is a species of plant in the Meliaceae family. It is found in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly Laos. It is occasionally sold as a house plant under the name "Chinese perfume plant." Wikipedia
Scientific name: Aglaia odorata

Every time I get a whiff of the smell of cherng mee lan I would remember my paternal grandfather.
that's aromatherapy for me.

My third grandmother was named Yu Lan...was my grandfather also a romantic?

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