Sunday, April 10, 2011
See the fruit? It is called Rambutan. Rambut in Malay and Iban means hairy. The fruit is called hairy fruit.
My parents were in the generation where Chinese people were not a huggy or kissy lot. This fruit was to me that my parents loved me very much. That was before allergies was fashionable.
Dad didn't earn very much money. When the champedak and jackfruits were in season, he would buy a whole big jackfruit. He would then buy a small bunch of rambutans for me.
My younger siblings would not understand why I was special and try to snatch them off me. Mum had to explain that I got a headache when I smelt the jackfruit. That was why I was eating my rambutans in the little balcony and not I was hiding from the others.
By the way, there were nine of us, and Dad could not afford to buy both the jackfruit and the rambutans.
Jackfruit tree at the compound of the Malaysian Railway station in Paloh. In most places, I see the grower "saronging" or wrapping the fruit with a sack to prevent insects from attacking the fruits. But not in this case, yet the fruits are beautiful.
Another reason for "saronging" the fruit is to tell people that the tree is mine, not everyone's. It seems in the old days, especially if you grow your fruit tree on public land, everyone is allowed to harvest the fruit.
I know this because I used to grow a lot of bananas and papayas,( paw paw) on the university land, the fruits were taken. The Malay ladies who clean the common area told me to do this. After I "saronged" my fruits, people no longer helped themselves to my fruits.