Cantik Si Sooi

(Version in Hokkien)

Cantik Si Sooi

Hantu Si Kooi!

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(Version in English)

Cantik means pretty

Hantu means ghost!

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About the Rhyme:~

This rhyme teases damsels who were overly coiffured and applied too much of ‘bedak sejuk’ (a local rice-based moisturising cake) on their faces that makes them look as pale as ghost. The words “cantik” and “hantu” is in Malay meaning “pretty” and “ghost” respectively.

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Hokkien Lang

(Version in Hokkien)

Teochew Lang

Khar Chwni Ang Ang

Hokkien Lang

Bo Hai Lang

Kong Hu Lang

Kha Chwni Sneh Thang!

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(Version in English)

Teochew people

Flush buttocks

Hokkien people

Never causes harm

Cantonese people

Backside grows worms!

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About the Rhyme:~

This rhyme describes the difference between these three distinct groups of Chinese that landed in old Penang- the Teochews, Hokkiens and Cantonese. More often than not this rhyme causes others to chuckle when uttered.

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Sim Pu Teh

(Version in Hokkien)

Sim Pu Teh Tiok Ai Lim

Lim Ka Liow Barn Barn Thoon

Meh Ni Siang Ch’ew Phoe Soon

Chit Pnua Ay Soon Ay Cho Seng Lee

Chit Pnua Ay Soon Ay Cho Loh Koon

Oo Looi Toke Bay Masli

Bo Looi Toke Bay Datsun!

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(Version in English)

Tea served by the daughter-in-law, one must drink

Slowly but surely one must fnish it

By next year both hands would have carried a grandchild

Half of the grandchildrens are businessman

While the other half are doctors

When one is rich buy a Mercedes

If one is poorer buy a Datsun!

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About the Rhyme:~

This is a  rhyme recited by the Mistress of Ceremony (Sang Keh Mm) wishing upon the parents of the wedded couple bountiful blessings for able descendants.

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Oo Hau Bo Hau

(Version in Hokkien)

Oo Hau Ay Chow Wa Cho Koay

Bo Hau Ay Chow Wa Poon Keh Huay

Oo Hau Ay Knia Sai Pai Snar Pie

Bo Hau Ay Knia Sai Si Ang Mor Phai!

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(Version in English)

Filial daughters bake cakes

Unfilial daughters divides fortune

Filial sons bow thee times to pay respect

Unfilial sons are the Western educated ones!

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About the Rhyme:~

This is a  rhyme describing how marriages to Westerners are more than often frowned upon.

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Koay E’ni

(Version in Hokkien)

Lang Ay E’ni

Lu Ay P’ni

Lang Ay Ang

Lu Ay Peh

Kau Tay Lu Ay Si Ang

Ar Si Peh?

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(Version in English)

Ours is round

Yours is flat

Ours is Red

Yours is white

Actually yors is Red

Or is it white?

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About the Rhyme:~

This is a Childrens’ rhyme heard during the Winter Solstice Festival which is a month before the Chinese New Year. These round glutinous rice balls are a sweet served in many colors but predominantly the colors are red and white. This soup is also served to couples during their wedding ceremony.

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Si Cheng Bo Kniar

(Version in Hokkien)

Si Cheng Bo Kniar

Bo Tiam Sniar

Sien Kniar Bo Ch’arm

Toke Bo Mia Sniar!

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(Version in English)

If the clock doesn’t move

No one knows the time

If the ruffians do not mingle around

They wont be famous.

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About the Rhyme:~

This is a rhyme and an advice to those wanting to be inducted into bad company. That you cannot be one if you are forever an unknown and therefore one has to stake a fearless reputation for themselves before others could fear them!

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Or Kow Na Bo Khaw

(Version in Hokkien)

Or Kow Na Bo Khaw

Bar Girl Eh Gia Lai Cho Bor

Bar Girl Na Oo Ch’eng

Chor Kong Toke Chin Leng!

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(Version in English)

The day Guinness Stout is no longer bitter

Then, bar girls could become a wife

If only bar girls could show some gratitude

Our ancestors will forever be at peace!

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About the Rhyme:~

This is a rhyme lamented by one who harbor deep resentment for bar girls perhaps because he has been fleeced by one, two many a time!

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Ch’eng Snar Eh Ow Si Eh

(Version in Hokkien)

Ch’eng Snar Eh

Ow Si Eh

Ho Ay Lai

Ph’nai Ay Khi!

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(Version in English)

Flap three times up front

Flap four times behind

Let the good come

And the bad to leave!

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About the Rhyme:~

This is a ritualistic rhyme recited by the elderly when a member of their household falls sick unexpectedly. The old adage attributes it to evil spirits and therefore this practice entails the flapping of “hell notes” on that sick person while chanting that rhyme after which the notes were to be burnt and tossed to the ground. The elder would then circumvent the ashes before returning back to the house. Strange but true!

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Ch’eng Kai Snar Ow Kai Si

(Version in Hokkien)

Ch’eng Kai Snar

Ow Kai Si

Sio Kar Chwni

Chi Chneh

Kow Thni Kwni

Nor Chneh

Jit Thau Chiok Khar Chwni!

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(Version in English)

Flap three times up front

Flap four times behind

Let the wave heat the buttocks

Upon the first rise of day

It’s already the breaking of dawn

On the second

The sun already shone on the backside.

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About the Rhyme:~

This is a ritualistic rhyme taught by taoist temple mediums to mothers. A sort of remedy to appease offsprings who appear restless and refuses to sleep. In this rite, the mother holds a stack of white papers and flap it on the baby while she utters the rhyme. At the end of it, that stack of paper was burnt. Of course, it is more or less a believe.

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 proverbs and sayings has always been a guide and lesson to the many who has never been to school so as to help them steer well in the river of  life and in a way, it seeks to retell their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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Ho Hnia Ti

(Version in Hokkien)

Ho Hnia Ti

Phark Hor, Liak Ch’art

Si Chin Eh Hnia Ti

Mm Ho Eh Hnia Ti

Chiok Peh Bo Eh Part Tor

Lai Choot Si!

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(Version in English)

Good siblings

Fought the tigers, catches thieves

Are true blood siblings

Bad siblings

Merely borrow the mothers womb

To be born!

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About this saying:~

This saying describes the virtues of brotherhood. While the good ones will help each other in times of need, the bad ones has no concern for one another though they came from the same womb.

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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