Friday, August 31, 2012

skywatch/Alphabe-Thursday letter P, Planting rice.


This "poker" rice planting equipment children had to used to help their parents can really turn kids off planting rice.
Thanks Francis Chen for this photo and lending me your son as the model. I guess in the past, kids didn't wear shoes.

This is a traditional South-East Asian nursery rhyme originated from the Philipines. It tells the of back-breaking, dirty,squishy muddy work under a sweltering sun

My music teacher taught me this song, and I in turn teach my New Zealand students. Rice is a valuable commodity and we are taught not to waste it. A common grandma's warning to kids who don't finish their bowl of rice will marry a spouse with pock marks.

When I was teaching in Kai Chung School in Binatang/Bintangnor, I went back to my parents' home in Sarikei in the weekends. Sometimes, I caught a bus, sometimes I took a boat called an express. The bus took me pass rice/padi fields like the photo. I took this during our recent reunion. 
My student/friend Francis explains how he used to plant rice.
Francis Kim Hung Tiong I use to when I was in Form 2. My dad asked me to move in front to poke holes into the soft ground so that they follow behind to plant the rice. That tools got 4 pokers, so it make 4 holes in a roll. At the end of the line, ONLY THREE HOLES REMAINS!


  • Ann Chin Thanks for first hand info, I have added it to my blog, and will use it when I teach. Don't understand this line. At the end of the line, ONLY THREE HOLES REMAINS!
    49 minutes ago · 
    Drawn by Francis Tiong



  • Francis Kim Hung Tiong That means I didn't go straight! Instead of 4 holes only 3 remains. My dad did the first row already. So he ask me to continue with the 2nd rowl only when my elder sister realized that she has no hole to plant her rice seedling.



Planting rice is never fun
Bent from morn till the set of sun,
Cannot stand and cannot sit,
Cannot rest for a little bit.

Planting rice is no fun
Bent from morn till set of sun,
Cannot stand, cannot sit,
Cannot rest a little bit.

Oh, come friends and let us homeward take our way,
Now we rest until the dawn is gray,
Sleep, welcome sleep, we need to keep us strong
Morn brings another workday long.

Oh, my back is like to break,
Oh, my bones with the damp still ache,
And my legs are numb and set
For their long soaking on the wet.

In English "Planting is no joke"  We did the actions. We loved nursing our sore bodies. It is no wonder kids don't want to plant rice.

 I modified the song for teaching and added my own humorous last stanza to make it current affairs. This post has evoked memories of my friends who once planted rice  helping their parents. Today, they are engineers and bankers.

I feel so privileged as their ex teacher, especially when I did not teach them in their class. They ave submitted work that I needed.

Thank you all for brainstorming and helping me out . This post is an unexpected one from the Kai Chung Reunion.


Planting rice is never fun
Bent from morn till the set of sun, Cannot stand and cannot sit, Cannot rest a little bit.

Oh, my back, wants to break, 
Oh, my bones are so painful,
And my legs are numb and set
Because of the soaking in the wet.

Planting rice is never fun
Bent from morn till set of sun,
Cannot stand and cannot sit,
Cannot rest a little bit.

Papa, I am not going to plant anymore,
I am going to work very hard,
I am going to be an engineer,
Or a banker in the nice office.

Oh, my back, wants to break, 
Oh, my bones are so painful,
And my legs are numb and set
Because of the soaking in the wet.

Children today don't want to eat rice,
They want to go for fast food,
French fries and Hamburgers,
Or  pizzas and spaghetti.

Oh, my back, wants to break, 
Oh, my bones are so painful,
And my legs are numb and set
Because of the soaking in the wet.










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3 comments:

Sue St Clair said...

Love the contrast between the deep blue of the sky and the green field :)

Taylor Kong Boomer said...

planting rice is a lovely theme,


what a me take on P.

Jenny said...

This is soooo neat!

I love this post!

I love the crooked line and imagining the dirt beneath my bare feet!

What a perfect link for the letter 'P'.

You have given me much to dream and ponder over!

A+