Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ABC Wed: Letter C for sugar cane and celebration.

The Chinese celebrate their new year for 15 days. For the Hokkien/Fujien dialect group of Southern China, they celebrate the 9th day in a big way. According to history, this coastal province was attacked by bandits on the evening of the 8th. They ran into the sugar cane fields. Because the sugar cane plants had "hairs", the bandits didn't want to go into the fields and get itchy all over.

The Hokkiens attribute their survival to the humble sugar cane. Up till this day in Singapore, the Hokkien people would buy two stalks of sugar cane, from the leaves to the roots, and place them on either sides of their front door.

The temples have worshippers and roast pigs and longevity buns. Even non worshippers display the sugar cane as a cultural thing. My parents are Cantonese, I didn't celebrate this day.

Here are sugar canes if you ever wonder where your sweets and lollies come from. I didn't eat a lot of lollies when I was young. Mum would cut a few stalks, we cut them to 1 foot lengths, peel off the hard outer skin, and then bite off and chew the sweet inside. It was good for the teeth, as the fibre clean the teeth very well.

My sister Helen lives in Australia. This closeup shows the bottom end of the sugar cane which you can eat because it is very hard and has root.

Facebook has connected me to many of long lost friends and friends of my siblings. I am full of euphoria.
Nostalgia surged through me, and I sent emails to old school mates and my greetings. Today, I even got connected to a woman who was many years my senior in school. I was very happy to "meet" her husband who knew my Dad and a good friend of my bro-in-law.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge. I now use the name Ann that Dad used for my Roman Catholic Baptism. Many of my classmates and studnets would not know who Ann Chin is , as Chin is my married name. I told the water engineer that perhaps I should revert back to my madam name when my books make me famous. LOL. My name in school was Chan Kit Suet, Kit Suet is translated as Puresnow.

This photo was taken when I was 14. Tt was taken at Buloh Road, a Government quarter. You can see part of the neighbouring house which is identical to ours. The house has stilts. I sent this photo to my pen pal in England, and she noticed the stilts. We had floods every year. The plants behind me is sugar cane.

Sarawakiana, this was when I was next door to your Uncle CC Chang. Mrs. Loi, that was the year, 1968. The year I remember seeing you.



mrsnesbitt said...

How fascinating - thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story with us all at ABC Wednesday.
Denise ABC Team

Anonymous said...

This is just wonderful. Lovely to see you as a child, after having met you as an adult. :)

Jama said...

When I was young, I ate lot of sugarcane, mostly given by neighbours/ relatives who grew them. My 2 sons only know how to order the sugar cane juice from the stall, they don't know how to eat them the way we do.

Roger Owen Green said...

This is a SWEET post. Thank you for sharing.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

TexWisGirl said...

puresnow. what a beautiful name. :)

Chubskulit Rose said...

You look so cute. I enjoyed chewing sugar canes when I was a kid.

Crystal Palace & Carousel
Chubskulit, ABC Wednesday Team

Kim, USA said...

I remember when I was young I used to eat sugar cane and loving every moment of it. Now I only have to remember it because I can't do it anymore. Glad I did it before I do not have questions in my mind how does it taste. ^_^ My hubby ask me how it taste I told him it taste sweeter than sugar hehehe. ^_^

Letter C

Leslie: said...

Such a cute/sweet photo of you!

abcw team

Ginny Hartzler said...

How beautiful you are in this picture, I love it!!!! And I enjoyed these facts about the canes, I don't know if I have ever even seen one before this!

Ash said...

Awww...wonderful post, Ann. What a beautiful story and so lovely to see you as a child! Thank you so much for sharing this.

Suzy said...

Thanks for sharing Ann. I remember eating sugarcane too. The juice is so refreshing as well.