Hoay Kim Chneh

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Hoay Kim Chneh

Chap Goh Meh

Chnia Lin Eh Ku War Lai Lim Teh

Teh Sio Sio

Knia Lor Bay Kin Chio

Kin Chio Bey Ki Pek

Knia Lor Khi Bay Chek

Chek Bey Ki Thark

Knia Lor Khi Bay Or Bak

Or Bak Bey Ki Buar

Knia Lor Khi Bay Chuar

Chuar Bey Ki Liak

Knia Lor Khi Bay Kha Khiak

Kha Khiak Bey Ki Cheng

Knia Lor Khi Bay Ka Leng

Ka Leng Kang, Ka Leng Bo

Chnia Lin Eh Ku Wa Sio Ean Toh..

.

(1st Version in English)

Fireflies

On the fifteenth night

Invite your in-laws to come over for tea

Tea is hot

Go buy some bananas

Bananas unpeeled

Go buy some books

Books unread

Go buy ink sticks

Ink sticks not grounded

Go buy snakes

Snakes not caught

Go buy some wooden clogs

Clogs unworn

Go buy some mynahs

Male mynahs, female mynahs,

Invite your in-laws for a wrestling match..

.

(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Hoay Kim Chneh

Chap Goh Meh

Chnia Lu Eh Ku War Lai Chiak Teh

Teh Sio Sio

Knia Lor Bay Kin Chio

Kin Chio Bey Ki Pek

Knia Lor Bay Chek

Chek Bey Ki Thark

Knia Lor Bay Or Bak

Or Bak Bey Ki Buar

Knia Lor Bay Chuar

Chuar Bey Ki Liak

Knia Lor Bay Kha Khiak

Kha Khiak Bey Ki Cheng

Knia Lor Bay Ka Leng

Ka Leng Ko, Ka Leng So

Chnia Lu Eh Ku Wa Lai Thit Thoe

Thit Thoe Nyar

Chiak Kam Chiak

Kam Chiak Tnee

Chiak Lychee

Lychee Ang

Knia Sai Phar Tniau Lang

Tniau Lang Chow Khi Snua

Bay Bak Char Tu Knua

.

(2nd Version in English)

Fireflies

On the fifteenth night

Invite your in-laws to come over for tea

Tea is hot

Go buy some bananas

Bananas unpeeled

Go buy some books

Books unread

Go buy ink sticks

Ink sticks not grounded

Go buy snakes

Snakes not caught

Go buy some wooden clogs

Clogs unworn

Go buy some mynahs

Male mynahs, female mynahs,

Invite your in-laws out to play

If you win, come have some sugar cane

Sugar cane is sweet

Come have some lychee

Lychees are red

Bridegroom beat in-laws

In-laws ran up to the hill

Buy some meat to fry with pork liver (a traditional Hokkien dish).

.

(3rd Version in Hokkien)

Hoay Kim Chneh

Chap Goh Meh

Chnia Lu Ku War Lai Lim Teh

Teh Sio Sio

Bay Kin Chio

Kin Chio Chiak Bo Liow

Ah Ku Khi Puak Kiow

Kiow Su

Ah Ku Khi Liak Tu

Tu Chow

Ah Ku Khi Liak Kow

Kow Bui

Ehya Ehya Chay Tham Phui.

.

(3rd Version in English)

Fireflies

On the fifteenth night

Invite your in-laws to come for tea

Tea is hot

Go buy some bananas

Couldn’t finish the bananas

Uncle went a-gamble

No luck in gambling

Uncle went pig catching

Pig ran

Uncle went dog catching

Dogs Bark

Dwarfs sits on the spittoon.

.

About this rhyme/ditty:~

Hoay Kim Chneh is a ‘Hokkien’ word literally translated to mean ‘Fireflies’. However in another version, “Guek Kim Chneh” was used~ “Guek” meaning the moon and “Kim Chneh” , the stars and therefore, “Guek Kim Chneh, Chap Goh Meh”  were to mean “the moon and stars on the fifteenth night” which is also quite apt because the 15th night of Chinese New Year is an auspicious night where one gets to witness the full moon and stars lighting up the night sky! In the early days of the Chinese Settlers in Penang, Chinese of young or old will recite their favourite ditties to wile away their time while children especially will also dance to the beat and rhythm of the recital provided by two pieces of bamboo clanking against each other.

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These ditties retell their story and their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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