Engaged…

My cousin and his wife drove all the way from Miri that day and they dropped by my house to pass me these…

Khong th'ng & tausar peah from Miri

Presently, there is somebody making those very nice khong th’ng/kacang tumbuk there but sadly, we can’t get them here anymore in Sibu.

And that brings me to my question – don’t people get engaged anymore these days? During my time, couples intending to get married would have to get engaged first, unless perhaps if it was a shotgun wedding.

I had to go to that shop beside the cinema (now closed down) in Sg Merah to order the engagement packets to be distributed to family and friends. There was a piece of khong th’ng wrapped in red (kite) paper in it, together with a slice of caramel with whole groundnuts in it also wrapped in the red paper and a red card that stated that I would be engaged to this lady on the date specified. Other than that, I had to go to the newspaper company to get them to publish the announcement and yes, we also had to go to a photo studio to have our engagement photo taken.

Those were the days when if there were couples going steady, people would ask the parents, “Ti si ai pun th’ng?” (When are you going to distribute the sweets?) The implied question there was when the couple were going to get engaged and distribute those aforementioned packets.

There was a dinner too, not a really grand one but there were at least 10 tables, if I remember correctly and we had it here. Only close relatives and maybe a few friends were invited and usually, couples would get the priest or pastor to come and bless the union or a community leader to officiate. We went to the church to get that done so we did not have that at the restaurant. There was no need to give ang paos at those engagement dinners so people used to refer to them as an opportunity to go for a free makan.

A diamond ring would be more appropriate for the lady for an engagement while two identical gold bands were usually used for weddings. I had to get mine from Kuching through my aunt, since deceased – 1 carat costing RM1,000 nett. I wonder how much that would cost if one were to get that now. Of course, an engagement was an engagement and unlike a wedding/marriage, if things did not work out, the couple could break off in due course.

Going back to my question earlier, if they do not make those khong th’ng here in Sibu anymore, then they will not be able to make those traditional red packets for distribution. Come to think of it, I have not seen, much less received any for a long long time…and as a matter of fact, I have not heard of people getting engaged either. They just tie the knot.

I do not eat the khong th’ng just like that actually, not anymore. I use it for my family’s special salad dressing or for making rojak sauce and also for my popiah (spring rolls). That would save me a lot of trouble of frying and pounding my own peanuts for use and since I cannot get the nice local ones, I just buy those factory-made more-sugar-than-peanut ones from West Malaysia, available here at the shops and  supermarkets.

As for the tau sar peah, I bought home some very nice ones from Miri once and yes, my cousin’s wife did get us a lot as well but my cousin said that the quality had gone down and they were not as nice anymore. I must say that I would agree but if you are in Sibu and you are in the mood for some nice ones, you can try the stall selling all the local Foochow delights at Medan Mall…

Stall at the mall
*Archive photo*

…or you can buy the ones here (80 sen each)…

Lau Dato Si' tausar peah

They say these are made by some lady in Bintangor and on some days, they have or tau sar (red bean paste) filling but I prefer the pek tau sar (mung bean paste)…

Lau Dato Si' tausar peah, pek tausar

I love the fact that these are not too sweet and the skin is very nice and flaky.

LAUDATO SI’ CANTEEN (2.287269, 111.832115) is located in what was previously known as the Catholic Centre in the compound of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Jalan Lanang and St Rita’s Primary School, Jalan Bukit Assek.

Author: suituapui

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

9 thoughts on “Engaged…”

  1. Seldom see khong thng in sg nowadays too.

    Lots at the shops and supermarkets here. Factory-made ones from West Malaysia, more sugar than kacang, very sweet, not so fragrant.

  2. Nowadays people go easy like 2 in 1. No engagement, save money and time. I like the khong tng and the caramel groundnuts. Whenever I buy rojak paste, I will buy a packet of this caramel groundnuts, pounded it and used as topping for my rojak.

    Can buy? I do not see it around either…but then again, maybe I have not been looking.

    1. Some supermarket got. I got mine from a mini supermarket at our area.

      Will be on the look out for it. I may have seen some in Kuching, those shops selling bee pang and phong peah and what not.

  3. wow! you sure have a traditional and elaborate engagement. one carat diamond for just RM1k? no way can get that now.

    I wonder how much that will cost now if I go and sell it. Too small already, anyway. Hehehehehe!!!

    1. one carat diamond is very big for the normal salary person. now people buy less than one carat diamond unless they are loaded.

      Oh? Now I’m impressed. When I first saw it at the time, I thought the stone was so small…not like the ones I saw in the movies. LOL!!!

  4. Back in the old days people observe such procedures and quite true what you said, these days we hardly hear of engagements. But I think among the Malay community, they still do this. Speaking of khong th’ng, it was my late grandpa’s favorite. I hardly see it over here too. Maybe there are places to get it but I don’t know where.

    Supermarket a lot, factory made ones…no more those really nice and fragrant traditionally-made ones or not here, at least.

  5. ooo, i’ve never heard of “Ti si ai pun th’ng?” before – i guess in the span of just half a century, or within two generations, so many traditions have been discarded. within another two generations, maybe many more people won’t bother with even getting married anymore 🙂

    Not surprised, they just cohabitate, the times they are a-changing…

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