(Version in Hokkien)
Ah Phien Sneh Ti Thor
Choo Liau Kor Kor
Bo Chiak Tiong Hor
Chiak Liau Hor Tor
Bor Knia Im Kor
Chin Chnia Tnui Lor
Heng Kharm Siang Lau Thooi
Part Tor Tua Chiu Kooi
Khar Thooi Tua Chau Mek
Uwa Piak Cheng Khor..
(Version in English)
Opium comes from the earth
Cooking makes it sticky
Don’t consume it and all is well
Smoke it and you will become reckless
Your wife and children will be neglected
Your relatives will severe all ties with you
Your ribs will resemble a flight of stairs
Your tummy, like a water barrel
Your legs, like grasshoppers
And you will need to lean against the wall to put on your trousers..
About this Rhyme/Saying:~
Ah Phian is a ‘Hokkien’ word literarily translated to mean ‘Opium’. In the 19th Century, opium-smoking is a widespread vice among the Chinese in Penang. This advisory verse warns us of the dangers of smoking opium. Not only that it wastes the body, it also destroys relationships. This verse is communicated in the deeper idiom of old Hokkien.
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..