Chneh Meh Kay

(Version in Hokkien)

Chneh Meh Kay

Tok Tiok Tharng

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(Version in English)

A blind chicken

Pecks a worm!

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About this saying:~

This phrase/saying is commonly used to describe how luck could strike undeserving people the same way a chicken , though blind, could peck worms.

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..

Ang Pow Giving

On the first day of Chinese New Year as Confucianist practice dictates, the entire household of an extended family would tidy themselves up, all nicely coiffured before presenting themselves to the head of the household, (generally the matriarch) to receive special blessings and ang pows (red colored packets containing money symbolizing good luck, prosperity, great health and joy). As receiving ang pows is hierarchical, so it is with the givers, each taking turns distributing whilst juniors kow tow and wish ‘Keong Hee Huat Chye’ as a mark of respect to the givers. In our family we went a step further by serving tea to the elders. It is also customary that once a child got married, they are obligated to give ang pows to their parents. The unmarried are exempted from ang pow giving because to the Chinese, they are still rated a child. Thus, any family members can receive ang pows for as long as they remained single. In our Hokkien tradition, only the womenfolk gives away ang pows. Reason is that the menfolk are supposedly the breadwinners of the family whilst the womenfolk are in charge of household affairs.

This is my extended family.

1st pic- my grandma Gek Kee, receiving blessings from my great grandma, matriarch Saw Kit, at Boon Siew Mansion. Generally as a senior in the family herself, my grandma is no longer entitled to ang pows but I guess that also depends on the generosity of individuals and the wealth of each family.. Matriarch Saw Kit’s life sized bronze statue still graces the Home of the Infirmary, Penang.

2nd pic- Aunt Guat Eng, Aunt Gim Ean (deceased), Aunt Guat Hong, Aunt Loh Ean, Uncle Kah Poh (deceased), unidentified Aunt and my mom (deceased). Aunt Guat Hong and 2nd Tniau Seng Leong kow towed.

3rd pic- Tiny tots group pic with matriarch. Kah Heng (deceased), Kah Bee, and Kah Kheng (deceased).

An extended family has added advantages except for privacy and at least three generations of one household lives and stays together. That was the in -thing of that period for well to do family’s with big houses.

Images copyrighted. Circa 50s.

Mai Khiam Kuay Ni

“Mai Khiam Kuay Ni” is a Hokkien saying uttered before Chinese New Year. Translated, it means “don’t defer your debts till the next year”. Though this has no real life connotation as most big companies does owe, it grew into a widespread belief somehow rooted into the community. But no doubt it has its goodness. It’s good practice not to be a lousy paymaster because everyone during the festive season needs cash to prepare for the yearly ritual and celebration hence the practice of giving bonuses a week before Chinese New Year. Just like problems that doesn’t get solved, it will slowly pile up into one big unsolvable package. Below is the image of God of Wealth a deity if placed in your home will ensure prosperity in your household.

Hneow Lor Chay

(Version in Hokkien)

Hneow Lor Chay

Kwee Chay

Mooi Chay

Chart Toh Chay.

(Version in English)

When there are many censers

Chances are they are used to repel evil

When there are many doors

Chances are they will beget robbers

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About this Proverb/Saying:~

This Hokkien Proverb/Saying is to teach people to be vigilant and look for early signs when buying a new home. In the homes of Buddhists, censers are used to hold litted joss sticks (intercessory prayer sticks) and it is usually placed right in front of the deity or god one believes in. If one encounters more censers than usual in a place or a home, their presence is to appeal for more divine power or help and what could be more devastating than the presence of evil in that place. In the second instance, it advises people not to create unnecessary access on walls for it will invite more robbers. (One must remember that in old China, houses do not have fences and homes are built right to the boundaries facing the road or narrow streets. So the more doors there are, it spells more trouble for the occupants.

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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Sin Jam Barn Ho Pang Sai

(Version in Hokkien)

Sin Jarm Barn

Ho Pang Sai

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(Version in English)

A new water closet

Makes one shit better!

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About this saying:~

This saying is used to describe how one is more attentive towards newer possessions then when they are older as seen from the uncanny habit of caring and being more attentive to their possessions when one buys a new motorbike, car, apartment or even ones new shoe or clothing.

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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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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Char Bor Bo Ch’eng

(Version in Hokkien)

Char Bor Bo Ch’eng

Siang Ka Ong Lai

Thai Cho Nor Peng.

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(Version in English)

A flirtatious woman

Is like a pineapple

Split into two!

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This is a  rhyme/saying sought to tell the listener of some flirtatious women in the act of betrayal. In this instance a pineapple known for its sweet taste but sometimes bites our tongue is used to describe the relationship.

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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Ah Kong Bo Looi Ah Kong Oo Looi

(Version in Hokkien)

Ah Kong Bo Looi

Chang Aik Chap Tau Pun Ch’au

Knia Soon Pun Ow

Ah Kong Oo Looi

Chang Aik Bo Chit Air

Knia Soon Kooi Tua Air!

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(Version in English)

If your grandpa is poor

He would still be smelly even if he bathe ten times

And his grandchildren would also smell stale

But if your grandpa is rich

And he bathes not even close to a fifth of a second

His grandchildren would still surround him!

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This is a  rhyme/saying sought to tell the listener of the sad realities in life where money indeed could buy relations.

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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Puak Kiu

(Version in Hokkien)

Puak Kiu, Kiu Tiok Ai Liak

Puak Beh, Beh Tiok Ai Chiak

Puak Kor Phiok, Lang Tiok Ai Oo Giak.

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(Version in English)

In football betting, one must place stakes

In horse betting, the horse needs to eat

In buying shares, one must have sufficient capital.

Is out wandering !

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying emphasizes the need of capital in all kinds of investment.

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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Poot Hau Ay Sim Poo

(Version in Hokkien)

Poot Hau Ay Sim Poo

Snar Twni Sio

Oo Hau Ay Chow Wa

Pnua Lor Eo!

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(Version in English)

The unfilial daughter-in-law

Keeps the daily three meals warm

Whereas her own filial daughter

Is out wandering !

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About this rhyme/saying:~

Life is full of contradictions. This rhyme/saying describes the sad state of affairs in some families whee an old mother needs to depend on her unfilial daughter-in-law for her three meals when her own daughter do not give much thought to her welfare.

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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Tiau Hwa

(Version in Hokkien)

Tiau Kooi Na Pak

Toe Bay Bong Tiok Bak

Tiau Kooi Na Cheng

Toe Bay Bong Tiok Leng!

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(Version in English)

To give away hundred dollars worth of garlands

Doesn’t mean you are allowed to touch her flesh

To give away thousand dollars worth of garlands

Doesn’t mean you are allowed to touch her breast!

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying is rather crude but advises patrons especially those who frequent night clubs to be prudent in spending when lavishing performers with costly garlands..

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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Gau Seng

(Version in Hokkien)

Seng Niau, Pek Chau

Seng Knia, Put Hau

Seng Khit Chiak, Tata Jit Kau!

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(Version in English)

Pamper the cat, climbs up the stove

Pamper the child, and they would turn out to be unfilial

Pamper the beggar, and he would come everyday!

 

About this rhyme/proverb/saying:~

This rhyme/proverb/saying is a lesson to all.

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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Khiap Si Lang

(Version in Hokkien)

Khiap Si Lang

Ai Chiok Kniar

Phai Mia Lang

Ai Kh’nua Mia

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(Version in English)

Ugly people

Likes looking at the mirror

Poor people

Likes to have their palm read.

 

About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying expresses one’s wishes. To the ugly, looking at the mirror is a reassurance about their image. To those who lead a hard life, consulting a palmist would help them keep watch over future catastrophes that might befall them and finding answers to life’s happenings.

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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Phooi Si Pak Lai Hong

(Version in Hokkien)

Phooi Si Pak Lai Hong

Boh Pang Ko Beh Siau Tong

Pang Liau To Chin Sit Leh

Boh Pang Ko S’ng Sim Tay.

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(Version in English)

Fart is actually air from our tummy

If you don’t release it, it feels constipating

If you do, it is embarrassing

If you don’t, retaining it is not healthy

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme /saying is about the effects  flatulence if retained..

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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Huan Peng Cha Bor

(Version in Hokkien)

Huan Peng Cha Bor Bo Pak Khar

T’ng Snua Cha Bor Bo Cheng Mnua

Huan Peng Cha Bor Bo Tim Eok

T’ng Snua Cha Bor Bo Chiak Lau Hiok

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(Version in English)

The womenfolk of the Southeast doesn’t bind their feet

The womenfolk of China doesn’t wear sarong

The womenfolk of the Southeast doesn’t boil herbal soups

The womenfolk from China doesn’t chew betel leaves..

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About the Proverb/Saying:~.

This traditional Hokkien proverb/saying describes in the most interesting way, the distinct difference between a local Southeast Asian women as opposed to the Chinese Settlers.

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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Lu Khnua Wa, Wa Khnua Lu

(Version in Hokkien)

Lu Khnua Wa Ho

Wa Khnua Lu Ho

Sim Lai Huan Lo

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Lu Khnua Wa Gau

Wa Khnua Lu Gau

Nor Lay Huan Chu Thau

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Lu Khnua Wa Ho Giak

Wa Khnua Lu Ho Giak

Nor Lay Ar Si Chay’ng Khar Khiak

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Lu Khnua Wa Chnua

Wa Khnua Lu Chnua

Nor Lay Bo Ai Uwa

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Lu Khnua Wa Lau

Wa Khnua Wa Lau

Nor Lay Peh Chap Ar Buay Kau

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Lu Khnuar Wa Phnai

Wa Khnua Lu Phnai

Tu Tiok Bo Ai Ch’ai

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Lu Khnua Wa Ay

Wa Khnua Lu Ay

Ai Bin Bay Phai Say

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Lu Khnua Wa Beng

Wa Khnua Beng

NOr Lay Ar Si Kay Bo Heng

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Lu Khnua Wa Swee

Wa Khnua Lu Swee

Swee Ka Hna Tiok Kwee

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Lu Khnua Wa Tai

Wa Khnua Lu Tai

Ho Kuay Lang Bebai

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(Version in English)

You think I am doing well

I think you are doing well

But both are worried sick!

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You think I am clever

I think you are clever

But both are potato heads!

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You think I am rich

I think you are rich

But both of us are still wearing clogs

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You think I am proud

I think you are proud

We both shun one another

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You think I am old

I think you are old

But both of us haven’t reach eighty!

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You think I am evil

I think you are evil

Ignoring each other when we meet

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You think I am capable

I think you are capable

Boastful and thick skinned we both are

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You think I am brave

I think you are brave

But we are both cowards

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You think I am pretty

I think you are pretty

Pretty till we scare the ghosts easily

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You think I am foolish

I think you are foolish

But at least both of us are not snobbish!

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

This is perhaps the and most entertaining and comical of all the Hokkien Rhymes. It speaks of persona and how it conceals reality and affects the impression others have of you. The word “bebai” means “snobbish” or “to be aloof when interacting with others”.

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 Lang Khnua Looi Aneh Tang

(Version in Hokkien)

Oo Lang Khnua Looi Aneh Tang

Giar Lai Chni Loh Khang, Ah Si Siew Ti Ang

Chit Looi Pian Nor Looi, Siew Ka Kooi Tua Tooi

Chay Lai Siong Ee Pun Sim Khnua Khooi

Oo Si Phoe Lai Chiak

Oo Si Larm Lai Khoon

Thniar Tiok Lang Ay Ch’u Jip Ch’art, Khar Chiew Choon

Mm Bart Thnia Kong Hiam Looi Chay

Jit Si Um Meh Tooi Ka Chay

Mm Bart Kong Chit Lay Looi La Sarm

Long Kow Khiok Khi Lai Tarm Tarm

Na Si Looi Puak Loak Khi Sampah Thang

Khar Kin Khiok Khi Lai Bay Sai Pang

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(Version in English)

There are those who are obsessed with money

Hoarding it in dug up grounds, or in stoneware vessels

One cent multiply to two, hoarding and piling it up

Sitting and staring at it appeases their heart and senses

Sometimes they cradle it in their arms when they are having a meal

Sometimes they hug it to sleep

When they hear about a house break-in, their hands and feet would also shiver

Never do they ever say they have enough

Day and night they hope to earn some more

Never have they thought that money is dirty

Even when they were picked up from the drain

If the money were to drop into the trash bin

It would be instantly salvaged by all means!

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

This Hokkien Rhyme/Saying speaks about money and how certain types of people are so obsessed with it.

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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Peh Hoon Sien

(Version in Hokkien)

Peh Hoon Sien, Tiam Tiam Khi Gien

Kha Charm Soak Ah Phien

Lang Sien Sien, Thau Lien Lien

Tisi Ay Kai Pien

Khar Tang Tang, Bak Chew Ang Ang

Tisi Ka Sniau Buek Pang

Arn Chnua Cho Lang Ay Aneh Gong

Siang Ka Sang Khi Karm Loh Bong

Kharn Kharn Khor Khor Peh Bo Ch’i

Tong Kim Lu Khi Hai Ka Ki

Nor Lay Kong Tiok Nah Ow Tni

Tui Ee Lang Mana Kuay Ay Khi

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(Version in English)

Heroin addict, regularly you are in fits

Worse than the opium addicts

Always lethargic, head never stop swirling

When then can you repent?

Your leg feels heavy, your eyes are bloodshot

When then would you be able to let it go?

Why are you so foolish?

It is as if you are already inside the grave

Your parents raised you up in all hardship

But today you are ruining yourself

Both your parents cannot accept this fact

So how could you treat them so heartlessly?

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About this Rhyme:~

This is a Hokkien Rhyme/Saying about the dangers of  heroin addiction. This rhyme is self explained.

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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Long Ee Long Toak

(Version in Hokkien)

Long Ee Long Toak

Khui Ch’wooi Luan Chu Choak

Mm Sai Aneh Tau

Aneh Bo Kio Gau

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(Version in English)

Bang chairs bang tables

Cursing as he opens his mouth

One needn’t be arrogant nor proud

This is not what we call clever!

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

This is a Hokkien Rhyme/Saying. It advises one to refrain from displaying their agitation because there are better ways to resolve issues, disputes or problems.

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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Sampat Ee Sampat Thong

(Version in Hokkien)

Sampat Ee Sampat Thong

Ai Ka Lang Luan Chu Kong

Aneh Gong Tua Tai

Ha Lang Ch’io Ka Mm Chai

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(Version in English)

Aged aunties are erratic

Loves to spread rumours

Why are they so foolish

Aren’t they aware they are being ridiculed?

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About this Rhyme/Saying:~

This Hokkien Rhyme/Saying describes the traits of certain people who went about gossiping without realizing the consequences of their actions.

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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Suka Ka Kuay Thow Jip Sim

(Version in Hokkien)

Suka Ka Kuay Thow Jip Sim

Tui Bay Tiok Sor Khi Siow Kin

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(Version in English)

Being so seriously devoted

When not reciprocated, became delirious.

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About this Rhyme/Proverb/Saying:~

This Hokkien Rhyme/Proverb/Saying describes the ways of some people who cannot accept no for an answer when it comes to courtship.

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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Niau Jin Ch’u

(Version in Hokkien)

Niau Jin Ch’u

Bo Jin Ch’u Choo

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(Version in English)

A cat recognizes it’s home

Rather than the owner of the house it resided upon.

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About this Rhyme/Proverb/Saying:~

This Hokkien Rhyme/Proverb/Saying makes one aware that there are certain classes of people that knows not what gratefulness is.

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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Knia Kiam Kor Kniar Phnai Lor

(Version in Hokkien)

Knia Kiam Kor

Kniar Phnai Lor

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(Version in English)

When children are not attended to

They will end up in the wrong path.

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About this Rhyme/Proverb/Saying:~

This Hokkien Rhyme/Proverb/Saying speaks about the importance of parents devoting their time, care and attention towards their kids so that they would walk the correct path.

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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Chiak Ka Por Lau Lai Cho Chor

(Version in Hokkien)

Chiak Ka Por

Lau Lai Cho Chor

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(Version in English)

To eat healthily

Ensures longevity.

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About this Rhyme/Proverb/Saying:~

This Hokkien Rhyme/Proverb/Saying talks about preserving one’s vitality well into the old age through the regular consumption of traditional herbs and medicines to boost one’s immunity.

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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Cho Lang Cho Ka Ho

(Version in Hokkien)

Cho Lang Cho Ka Ho

Ow Lai Tit Tiok Po

Cho Lang Cho Sniau Phnai

Ow Lai Tok Ay Chai

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(Version in English)

Be a good person

In order to prosper in the future

If one tries to be bad

The future would be uncertain..

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying encourages one to do good always.

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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Ho Lang Bo Eng Cho

(Version in Hokkien)

Ho Ang Bo Eng Chuay

Siang Ka Thni Po Puay

Ho Bor Bo Eng Tu

Siang Ka Thni Sian Hu

Ho Knia Bo Eng Chi

Tu Huay Thni Por Pi

Ho Lang Bo Eng Cho

Tu Huay Kee Siew To

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(Version in English)

A good husband is hard to find

Like precious gems they fall from the sky

A good wife is hard to meet

Like a fairy they too fall from the sky

A good child is difficult to raise

Unless we receive God’s grace

It is not easy to be a good person

Unless we uphold righteousness..

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying speaks about the importance of righteousness.

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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Khui Chwee Luan Chu Kap

(Version in Hokkien)

Khui Chwee Luan Chu Kap

Bo Kong Eong Thau Khak

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(Version in English)

Once the mouth opens, out spills everything

Never for once consult the brain.

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying is more often than not used in jest or as a friendly advise to others to exercise care in revealing more than is necessary.

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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Hum Bun Ay Cha Bor

(Version in Hokkien)

Hum Bun Ay Cha Bor Bong Bo Lor

Boh Lau Mnua Ee Tok Lau Khor

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(Version in English)

Clumsy women does not have a feel for things

If her sarong did not drop, it will be her pants.

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying pokes fun at clumsy women.

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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Kong Uwa Bo Li Eu

(Version in Hokkien)

Kong Uwa Bo Li Eu

Tok Por Luan Chu Jiu

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(Version in English)

For those who speak senselessly

Are like table cloths that mops in an indefinite direction

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying pokes fun at those who try to impress others with their senseless speech.

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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Lang Tua Lang Say

(Version in Hokkien)

Lang Tua

Kong Say Snia Uwa

Lang Say

Snia Tet Pet Tua

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(Version in English)

High position people

Are soft spoken

Those who are rank lower

Are the loudest

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About this rhyme/saying:~

This rhyme/saying pokes fun at those lowly rank people who love to exert their weight around to get things done or just to show off when the fact is higher rank individuals seldom display traits like this.

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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