February 4, 2016

Sibu Tales : Cleaning House with Bamboo

During my GRandfather's time, we would all practise the cleansing of the house by using bamboo leaves.

He told us that bamboo leaves could get rid of all the evil spirits in the house.

So it was true, just before Chinese New Year, every one would be asking people who had bamboo groves for some bamboo leaves and stems. My grandfather had many groves of bamboo because he enjoyed eating bamboo shoots and he was also in the hobby farming business, selling bananas, fruits and bamboo shoots.

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Cleaning the house also means driving out misfortune or traces of bad luck.

My paternal grandmother and my aunts would be busy cleaning the house from top to bottom. It was a huge house to clean actually.

However my father would be the one cleaning our house. He would fashion a long broom using some of the small bamboo stalks and leaves from our bamboo hedge. Our neighbours would also come around to ask for the bamboo as our hedge was the only one along our road. He said he would just get rid of some of the cobwebs and dust on the ceilings and corners and the rest of us would wipe the windows, ledges etc.

It was good to do spring cleaning once a year.

I particularly like the smell of our wooden stools drying in the hot sun after being washed and scrubbed with OMO.

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