Teik Gar Ki

(Version in Hokkien)

Teik Gar Ki

Mor Hor Chni

Choe Lang Eh Sim Pu Bart To Li

Um Um Khoon

Char Char Khi

Khi Lai Say Thow, Buak Hoon Tiam Ean Chi

Jip Pang Lai

Siew Chiam Chi

Choot Tuar Tniah

Cheng Tok Ee

Jip Chow Khar

Say Uar Tee

O Lo Hnia

O Lo Tee

O Lo Chin Keh, Chneh Erm

Gow Ka si..


(Version in English)

Dried bean curd

Sweet flour cakes

A daughter in law must conform to etiquettes

Goes to sleep late

Wakes up early

Wakes up, combs hair, powders face, applies lipstick

In the bedroom

Plies the embroidery needle

Enters the main hall

Dust the furnitures

Enters the kitchen

Washes the bowls and chopsticks

Speaks well of her husband

And her children

Speaks well of her family, her in-laws

For bringing her up so well..


About this rhyme/ditty/saying:~

Tek Gar Kee is a ‘Hokkien’ word literally translated to mean ‘Dried Bean Curd’. This rhyme/ditty/saying list out the traits expected out from a newly wed bride by her in-laws. If she passes the scrutiny, she will earn praises from the entire family as well as relatives and friends. The traditional underlying view is that a daughter-in-law must carry herself well for her conduct reflects on her biological parents who are responsible for her upbringing.

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..




6 responses to “Teik Gar Ki

  1. There is something to be said about tradition and raising up children male or female to be of sound and ethical character.

    I like the lyrical sound of the first and thank you for the translation in the second.


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