The way we were…

When I was little, my house was near a three-point junction (simpang tiga) with the Melanau kampung/village to the right and the Malay kampung to the left.  Thus, my childhood friends were all the Melanau and Malay kids from these kampungs and we all spoke the Sarawak version of the Malay Language.

We played football on any piece of land sticking two sticks in the ground for the makeshift goal.  We went into the jungle, built huts out of the branches and leaves and spent the day there, enjoying ousrsevles and cooking our own food.  Never mind that it was not very hygienic, well-cooked nor delicious; it was fun!

 We made catapults from forked branches of trees and lots and lots of rubber band and pieces of leather cut from old, discarded shoes. We made pop-guns using bamboo and sticks and used the pea-like seeds of a certain plant as the pellets. And we would strip down to our homemade boxers and jump into the river for a whale of the time. Needless to say, everytime there was a flood in the town, we were the happiest of all!

I can go on and on about the things we did, our exploits as kids…but the point that I would highlight is the fact that we were friends, regardless of colour or creed. Sometimes, they would eat at my place and with due respect to their religion, we would not serve pork – canned sardines, cangkuk manis fried with egg and “sayur rebus” and when eating with friends, the simplest fare woiuld seem like a banquet for a king and rest assured, we would lick our plates clean!

At the time, we were all Sarawakians under the rule of the “ang moh” or “orang putih” (We did not call them “Mat Salleh over here!) but somehow, today it seems that much has changed… Children do not have the time to be children anymore and after attaining independence for some 50 years now, we should be living together as “one people, one nation” but are we? Well, at least, my friends and I did!

I would like, therefore, to close with the lines from the song by Barbara Streisand:

Can it be that it was all so different then? Or has time rewritten every line? If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me…would we?…..Could we?

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

20 thoughts on “The way we were…”

  1. No. Dont think we would. It was all good fun. The flood was the best!!!!! But life was not
    that comfortable then. No internet!!!!!

    …So we were spared the stress of waiting…and waiting…and waiting for someone to comment!! Wakakakakakakakakaka!!!!!

  2. those were the days.. i was raised by melanau… then, the nannies over there are cheap..

    Sexy with a nasal voice and dressed outlandishly…like The Nanny on tv? Hahahahaha!!!

  3. I had Malay classmates who would go to church with me. No problem then. They even enrolled for Bible class (it was compulsory then). If we do this now, our church would be burnt to the ground. Things are very different now. When non muslims serve food, the muslims will not eat them for fear our cutlery is tainted with non halal stuff. In school, teachers are very particular about where we go for makan. They would check the kitchen if they have to!

    Well, with tolerance and a lot of give-and-take, we can still be friends…despite all the restrictions. We do that even within families or among colleagues and friends regardless of colour or creed, don’t we? That is why we may be closer to some…and quite distant to others.

    Today, I still have many friends of all races and religion;that much hasn’t changed. My contention is in how we distinguish ourselves by our races. Singaporeans call themselves Singaporeans, and so do the Indonesians, the Thais, the Filipinos etc…so why can’t we? Incidentally, when we call ourselves, for example, “Malaysian Chinese”, it is structurally incorrect. The Blacks in the US call themselves “African Americans” and not “American Africans”. Ponder upon the difference in the meanings.

  4. Play football?? Can run anot wan??

    Children do not have the time to be children anymore…

    Aiyoh, chewren nowadays so kesian… kindergarten, standard one sudah go for tuition… why our education system liddat?? So tension to be kids these days…

    Can run lah!!! Those days already sui but not so tuapui yet!!! LOL! Kids tension? Blame the parents lah! So kiasu wan! Most of the kids today are so over-protected, over-pampered, more often than not, they grow to become spineless wimps with no sense of direction!!!

  5. haha those were the days! Mine was a bit different since there were video games already .. but I still enjoy a moment or two being a “tarzan”! Hanging from those hanging roots or whatever you call them, right into the irrigation system of the padi fields, and scampered awaywhen we see those leeches getting close to us! LOL

    Aiyor! Tarzan? Aren’t you a girl? Hahahahaha!!! Those leeches aren’t that dangerous compared to human ones!

  6. no internet also okay wat.. can play ‘belon belon, poi khi singapo’ kahakhakh!

    Yalor…we had all kinds of games to play, no money needed even! And ur mum would be the ringleader, prancing around – real “jilup” at the time. Not like today – so ladylike, elegant and even went fine dining at E&O (Oooo….got class, kaya! Wakakakakakaka!! She’ll kill me if she reads this!!!).

  7. bdq, the ‘belon’ is long gone and tak pergi singapore pun…STP, the ‘belon’ was the huge red jambu tree (not yours) outside the chicken coop. It was inspired by one movie,something to do with hot air balloons. How imaginative we were! We climbed up the huge tree (with kicap and sugar sauce) and imagined we were up in a balloon. Of coursewe stuffed ourselves with jambus.
    Sad to say even that fruit is disappearing. Fully ripened, it actually tastes like Australian
    nectarines!

    Children those days very imaginative and creative…unlike those today! Study, study, study…rote-learning, memorising everything…tuition day and night, and it doesn’t even make them cleverer. More like brain-dead, no critical and creative thinking skill at all! So pathetic!

  8. the pop gun game, i played that before! i was good at it haha! always the sought after to be a member of the group. i cycled to malay kampung, spent my time swimming, playing lastik getah, ate dinner with them. spent my 1st weekends at iban longhouse, when i was 9. then every time gawai, i would join my neighbours, me and my sister would follow them ‘balik gawai’. race, skin colour never a problem back then. i missed those days.

    U good at wat gun??? ROTFLMAO!!! Wah…ur childhood days exactly like mine hor? U and ur sister? U main “masak-masak” ke? Wakakakakakakaka!!!!!!!!! (Long time no comment? So busy kah?)

  9. Oh dear, Suitaupui, my mom will kick your a$$ when she reads this.. =). Why are you getting so sentimental all of a sudden? You’re after all forever… what the legal drinking age? 18?

    Hahahahahahaha!!! No problem!!! She owes sporting one! ME? Of course, forever 18 LAH!!! LOL! Gee…”TINTIN”??? Your alter ego? Wakakakakakaka!!! Actually, there was a character before Lassie, Rin Tin Tin!

  10. Reminiscing (correct spelling? ;))the past?
    Yea…missed those days…

    In the words of Bob Dylan (and those who don’t want to reveal their age, will go, “Bob who?”), the times, they are a-changing….

  11. hahaha suituapui… yes, I’m a girl.. but that doesn’t stop me from having fun .. I’ve always been an active girl anyway .. but I did have my dolls and played masak-masak with my cousins LOL..

    Come to think of it, while you’re focusing on the one nation living together regardless of the races, I did a post focusing on the games a while ago ..

    …you played masak-masak? You didn’t ajak bongkersz play together? ROTFLMAO!!! Well, blame it on the politicians! They always play with these racial sentiments and sensitive issues touching on language and religion to win votes…and people fall for it! Didn’t use to be like this at all!

  12. HOHO… i would REALLY love to see all of you ‘poi-ing khi singapo’ again!

    Ask the ringleader to lead the way!!! Hahahahahaha!!!!

  13. Hey look here, all so pui pui sui sui how to fly?

    Now got Airbus wide body 380(?) kan? Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

  14. hmm.. interesting childhood, suituapui! over here, we mix with the same race most of the time. on top of that, we even classify our own race into different groups like chinese speaking, english ed, la-la, etc, and don’t mix around with those we are unfamiliar with. How sad..

    I suppose it would have been the same if I had lived in another part of town…

  15. me water gun also good 😀 masak masak i played before, me the chef muahahaha! if kids can see beyond skin colour and religions, why adults can’t? but i notice kids nowadays can be pretty racist too, then the parent masuk campur, big issue. sigh.

    Children are innocent. They come into this world like a blank slate – tabula rasa but the parents will indoctrinate their own prejudices in their little minds!!! When my students expressed an opinion on sensitive issues, I always asked them, “Is that your own conviction or have your parents planted the idea in your mind?”

  16. STP and gundot, you should get yourselves signed up for facebook.. uncle leo created a group called Jackfruit Villagers. happening man! haha… oh, the ‘ringleader’ signed up already. (jasa anak perempuan)

    That Jackfruit Villager hardly ever set foot on the village one!!!!

  17. Bagi masa we learn first….You notice STP blog no photographs yet!!!!! Kami budak belum belajar!!

    Aiyor! Beat around the bush lah!!! Bluff sikit!! Why u tell them the truth??? Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  18. Bagi masa we learn first…You noticed STP blog no photographs yet? Kami budak belum belajar!!!!
    Cibol and others why never teach STP??? Ruby already makan so now it is pay back time.

    Yup! Cibol! Bongkersz! U all think makan free kah? Hahahahahaha!!!! But then if posts are interesting, no need for photos, right????…..Blush! Blush!

  19. haha.. I taught suituapui 2 tricks already .. I’d teach him how to post photos too if we get on IM at the same time .. :p but this suituapui told me, he rarely gets on msn messenger .. not easy to teach through comment la.. LOL

    Bongkersz taught me already!!! I’ll try when I can find the time….I said I’ll photoshop his face onto some naked guy’s photo and post it!!!!! Hahahahahaha!!!! I’m so mean! People taught me and I wanna kena kan dia pula!!!

  20. haha goodlah bongkersz taught you already! 🙂 Wonder what photos will come up in your posts … LOL

    Don’t get your hopes up too high!!! Maybe not berjaya nanti!!! Hahahahaha!!!!

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