Geng Geng Knua

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Geng Geng Knua

Chit Liap Pnua

Lang Tiam Teng

Lu Lai Khnua

Khnua Har Mi

Khnua Sin Neow

Sin Neow Kuan Ar Keh

Gia Hniau Pai Lau Peh

Lau Peh Bo Ti Boe

Gia Hniau Pai Lau Boe

Lau Boe Bo Cheng Hoe

Gniar Hniau Pai Hnia Soe

Hnia Soe Bo Cheng Goon

Gniar Hniau Pai Leong Chun

Leong Chun Kok Kok Puay

Gniar Hniau Pai Teh Oay

Teh Oay Chiang Chiang Koon

Nor Lay Gina Thow Or Soon

Or Ha Chui Chui Chiak

Or Hor Lau Chim Po Chiak

Lau Chim Po Mia Ha Mi

Mia Peh Ka Chuak

Snar Peh Bi

Chee Bey Uak

Ti Ti Kniar

Ti Ti Puak.

.

(1st Version in English)

Dried longan

Seven and a half pieces of it

You came to watch

When the lanterns were lit

What were you looking at

If not the bride

Is the bride lanky or short?

Hold the joss sticks, pray to your deceased father

If your father doesn’t wear a hat

Hold the joss sticks, pray to your deceased mother

If your mother is not beautifully coiffured

Hold the joss sticks, pray to your sister-in-law

If your sister-in-law doesn’t wear skirts

Hold the joss sticks, arrange the dragon boat

Dragon boat sails away

Hold the joss sticks then arrange the tea-pot

Tea pot boiled to its brim

Two little kids stole the radish

Dig for who?

Digging for grand-aunt to eat

What is the name of your grand-aunt?

Her name is “White Cockroach”

Three handfuls of rice

Is not enough to feed

As she walks on

She would continue to fall..

.

(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Geng Geng Knua

Chit Guek Pnua

Lang Tiau Teng

Lu Lai Khnua

Khnua Har Mi

Khnua Sin Neow

Sin Neow Kuan Ar Keh

Gia Hniau Pai Lim Peh

Lim Peh Bo Cheng Hoe

Gia Hniau Pai Lin Soe

Lin Soe Pok Pok Poay

Gniar Hniau Pai Teh Poay

Teh Poay Gau Gau Koon

Nor Lay Gina Thow Or Soon!

.

(2nd Version in English)

Dried longan

Seven and a half months

People hanging lanterns

You came to watch

What are you looking at

If not the bride

Is the bride lanky or short?

Hold the joss sticks and pray to me

I don’t wear a bib

Hold the joss sticks and pray to my wife

My wife is furious

Hold the joss sticks and arrange the tea cups

The tea cups are steaming hot

Two little kids stole the radish!

.

About this rhyme/ditty:~

“Geng Geng Knuar” or “dried longan”  is one rhyme/ditty that emphasises the need to pay homage to our ancestors. The carrying of lighted joss sticks with both hands and bowing as one prays is one of the many Taoist rites accustomed to homage praying which includes the burning of incense and paper paraphernalia to appease deceased/ancestral spirits. Many verses in this rhyme/ditty is similar to “Chay It Chap Goh” and “Guek Kng Kng, Siew Chye Long“.

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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5 responses to “Geng Geng Knua

  1. Pingback: Chay It Chap Goh | fiveloaf

  2. Pingback: Guek Kng Kng, Siew Chye Long | fiveloaf

  3. Pingback: 初一十五 (tshe-it tsa̍p-gōo) | 逐家來學福建話

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