Tim Kum

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Tim Kum, Keh Hoe Ang

Tim Kor, Chuar Hoe Bor.

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(1st Version in English)

Toss tangerines for a good husband

Toss apples for a good wife

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(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Tim Chang Keh Hoe Ang

Tim Chai, Tharn Tiok Hoe Knia Sai

Tim Choe, Ni Ni Hoe

Tim Thor Tau, Chiak Lau Lau

Tim Geng Geng, Ho Buay Keng

Tim  Kor,  Chuar Hoe Bor

Tim Too, Chuar Chit Leh Ho Sim Pu

Tim Chiok Thau, Khee Um Mor Lau

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(2nd Version in English)

Toss Spring Onions for a good husband

Toss Vegetables for a good son-in-law

Toss Red Dates for a good year ahead

Toss Groundnuts for longevity

Toss Longans for peace and glad tiding

Toss apples for a good wife

Toss Chopsticks for a good daughter-in-law

Toss Stones to receive a swelling on the head!

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(3rd Version in Hokkien)

Tim Choe, Ni Ni Hoe

Tim Thor Tau, Chiak Lau Lau

Tim Geng Geng, Ho Buay Keng

Tim  Kin Cheo, Kin Ni Tiok Beh Pio

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(3rd Version in English)

Toss Red Dates for a good year ahead

Toss Groundnuts for longevity

Toss Longans for peace and glad tiding

Toss bananas and you will strike lottery this year!

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

Chap Goh Meh, literary translated as the ’15th night’ in Hokkien which is the last day of Chinese New Year was a very big affair. It was the only night in the whole calendar year when girls from traditional families get to go out. On that auspicious evening, the unmarried girls would be beautifully coiffured and made-up, decked in their finest of jewellery and transported downtown in horse-drawn carriages (motorcars in later years) inevitably passing by Esplanade or Sungei Pinang, the whole point of it is to be seen and also to ‘tim kum’ ( toss mandarin oranges) into the sea or river to wish for a good husband! Although man generally has more freedom, they too had to behave as gentlemanly as they can and could not approach the girls on their own. If one man likes a certain girl, he will jot down the vehicle number and hint his interest to his parents who would then send ‘investigators’ (matchmakers) to assess the suitability of the prospect. Tim Kor (toss apples) is a man’s obligation if he wishes for a good wife although it is often done discreetly.

On a lighter note, tossing of oranges and apples nowadays became a modern day matchmaking concern. Whereas in those days it was just a wish and like all wishes it might not come true at all, some smart alleck got these younger generations excited by making them toss oranges and apples with their names and contact numbers written on them and then arrange sampans to retrieve those tossed oranges back to the shore to be randomly distributed back to the participating tossers. For those who believe in fate, many a romance is sealed. Others, well they just ran for their lives!

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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