Friday, January 29, 2016

Banzai, world war II

Banzai in Japanese, or at least during the World War 2, aka as the Japanese invasion, means "Hail to the Emperor." The fierce Jap soldiers required anyone seeing them to prostrate 90 degrees, lift one hand out and say," Banzai!" Then the Jap soldiers will let you go. If you don't, you would be knocked by the gun, and beaten or forced with water into your stomach or thrown to jail.

Whereas, in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect, Banzai means "Go to Shit." So according to my brother Charles, the Chinese were very enthusiatic in saying ," Banzai! Banzai". The soldiers not knowing this, would let them go. The rest of the population like the Malays were beaten really badly.

My Dad, and later Henry related this story. Dad really needed to banzai/shit. When he was heading towards a toilet, he encountered some Jap solders. His quick thinking made him lift his hand to show them his toilet paper, and saying Banzai at the same time. Misunderstanding him, the Jap soldiers let him off. I teased Dad in his later years if he shat his pants, and he only laughed. He said, now we can all laugh, it was no laughing matter then.

This shop in Mt Eden is called Banzai, it sells Japanese snacks. I alway snigger when I see it. You won't catch me going into that shop.

***When the water engineer wears his Japanese cap, I scold him to be a ratbag, his Dad who was beaten up twice by the Japs would roll in his grave. The Japanese caps and uniform were Khaki in colour. The water engineer's hat is blue and made in China. I don't think China would make such a cap in Khaki colour.***

 I supposed it was influenced by deputy director of the 

drama troupe of the Sibu Chinese Choir.
. After the war,in 1946, by the my dad was 

teaching in Tung Hua, Methodist Secondary School, Chung 

Hua School and Sacred hearts school. 

There was this big

drama production in Sibu to

 raise funds to rebuild Sibu. They 

approached my Dad to act main character. The main 

character was also the Japanese spy. 

My Dad accepted the role saying this is the role of an actor 

and be professional in the role.

Mum was a bit worried people might misconstrue acting life 

with real life.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Master Kok Fei and Master Kui Kui

This is a story of a friendship of a lifetime. My Uncle Master Kok Fei in the photo, and his friend Master Kui Kui.

In the prewar time, they studied English session in the morning in Sacred Heart's school. In the afternoon, Uncle Kok Fei and my dad studied in Tung Hua School. I am not sure if Master Kui Kui studied in Tung Hua, I remembered Uncle Kok Fei saying, students from the Chinese session was very good in Maths.

The two of them helped each other, Uncle Kok Fei teaching Master Kui Kui Math, and Master Kui Kui teaching him English.

The two went on to become teachers of Sacred Heart's primary school, and Master Kui Kui became the principal until his retirement. Master Kok Fei was very passionate about sports and even the secondary boys know him.

The person who took this photo must have been William, Master Kui Kui's son. Uncle Kok Fei came to visit me in Auckland and William took him around.

We had a meal in my house, and most of these were Sacred Heart Old Boys.  You may recognize Father Paul Chee.

Every Chinese New Year, I specially remember Uncle Kok Fei. He was born on the 7th day. universal or human beings birthday. We always went to his house and celebrated together with his brother,

Wrestling--Kelabit style by James Ritchie

James Ritchie
James Ritchie Wrestling--Kelabit style
One of the favourite past-times of the Kelabit was wrestling. The Kelabits remember one interesting event 1950s in Pa Main when Lian La’ah, veteran wrestler, overcame all his opponents to become the greatest Kelabit wrestler during the post-War years.

Menon Parir said his father, retired policeman Cpl Parir Udan who witnessed the evens, related the story of how Lian La’ah became the Champion in a well-publicised wrestling event which many of the old folk still remember. Menon said: "There was a big festival at Pa Main,-the largest Kelabit settlement and Longest long house,-in the highlands. One of the events was wrestling and all strongest Kelabits from the surrounding settlements were invited. The first events was wrestling in waist length water. This was for the young amateurs. Then came the highlight which was for the “Professionals”.

Menon who himself is world martial arts Champion, said many challengers came and were beaten by Lian Laah in the morning . The strongest challengers were Penghulu Miri @ Raja Umong of Pa Mada and RAJA BALA of Long Lellang.

Everyone was excited, showing their support to the local heroes by hitting the surface of the river with their palms, clapping and screaming when a challenger was beaten.

In the preliminaries before the final, Balare of Long Peluan (the father of former State soccer player, Isai Raja) was pitted against Agan @Ulit Mattu @ Inan Diu (the father of Dr Roland Dom Mattu) of Pa Bengar. Balare wrestled Agan to the ground and was declared the winner. But while getting up, Agan rolled over and grabbed and twisted Balare's nose until it bled! A near fight almost occurred between Long Peluan and Pa’Bengar people.

The final for the professionals, held just after 12 noon, was held at the open space near the Pa Main longhouse. Lian La’ah was pitted against Long Lellang’s champion Raja Bala--a young six-footer who was very strong and powerful. Menon added: “In the match, Raja Bala tried to topple Lian La’ah. But Lian was too powerful and experienced and after a long contest, smashed Raja Bala to the ground."

Lian La’ah (his other names are Matah Ribuh and Tepun Ulun), came from a family of famous Kelabit wrestlers. His father Balang Ngela’ah (unbeatable Tiger) of Pa Main, was also mighty warrior and wrestler Balang Ngela’ah was the younger brother of Lun Atdo (On top of the Sun)—another powerful exponent of Kelabit wrestling.

Menon said that Kelabit wrestling was similar to Korean Wrestling where once an opponent was grounded , he was declared the loser.

ends/jr January 30, 2015-------------------------