Title 160 Foochow Proverbs
Author Angela Yong
The story on how I got this book was funny. One of Mum's friend from the US (an elderly 70 year old lady) who is a retired English school teacher. She bought this book during one of her bus trips downtown, saying that it would be an interesting. In the end, she gave it to me as I seem to find it very useful. I didn't have the heart to tell her that me, Mum and Granny were laughing our heads off from what we read in the book.
Here are some of the quotes. Meanings are taken directly from the book, grammatical errors and all. To suit the mood, of course. :p
Nu neh chuk kah,kiang moh hah Mother remarries, children don't wear hah
Meaning : Hah means mourning clothes. When a widow remarries, her children have no more responsibility towards her. That is why most Chinese women do not remmary when their husbands die.
Siong chong nang poh ah chong ming Get into bed, no guarantee to get up again.
Meaning : Some people die in their sleep. That is why we go to bed every night not knowing if we will get up again the next morning.
Angel Yong was born in China but had moved to Sibu, Sarawak where she was educated by missionary nuns. During the war, she married and settled down to family life in Sibu, raising her children there. One of her sons, Phillip Hii, compiled all the proverbs and idioms mentioned in the book.
Some of the proverbs inside are common everyday ones found in Mandarin. Some are, of course, from the Foochow dialect. Still, it want to read something funny, this is one book that surely does that. And yes, I'm still cracking up. It's hard to be serious when the proverbs are written in such a manner.
Hmm... think I'd better stop making fun of the book.