Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Dedicated To All Those Born in 1940's, 50's, 60's:
Dedicated To All Those Born in 1940's, 50's , 60's:
Dr. Santhi Raghavan (Alumni MES)
We had no maids. Our mothers cooked, cleaned and took care of the whole family. They still had time to chat with neighbours.
Everyone had candy floss, fizzy drinks and shaved ice with syrups of different colours - brown, red and green. Diabetes was rare and Aspirin/Aspro cured all illness. We rode adult's bicycle to school, the richer ones had their own mini-bikes. Ironically, we all had problems with our brakes, and after running into the bushes a few times, we learned how to solve the problem. School prefects were a fearful lot ... more fearful than the teachers. Detention class was like going to prison for a day. We had "public caning" in schools.
NO ONE ever won the big prizes on "Tikam". It was a scam but it did not stop us coming back for more.
Motorbikes were ridden without helmets. It was rare to ride in a private taxi. Taking a bus was luxury - we either cycled or walked everywhere.
We drank water from the tap and NOT from bottles.
We spent hours in fields under the sun, playing football or flying kites, without worrying about UV rays.
We roamed free catching spiders and did not worry about Aedes mosquitoes. We kept our spiders in match boxes and were ready for a spider fight anytime.
With just 5 pebbles, girls played endless games and the boys ran like crazy for hours playing with balls. And there were hop-scotch, galah panjang and main getah!
When it rained, we swam in the drains & canals to catch "ikan keli", none of us dissolved in rain.
We shared one bottle of F&N soft drink with friends, NO ONE actually worried about catching anything.
We ate salty, sweet & oily foods, bread had real butter and sometimes condensed milk. We enjoyed very sweet coffee, tea, and "ice kacang" but we were not obese because....... WE WERE OUT PLAYING ALL THE TIME!!
We left home in the morning and played all day till hunger drove us back home. When needed, our parents knew how to find us. NO ONE actually watched over us and WE ALWAYS WERE SAFE.
WE DID NOT HAVE HANDPHONES BUGGING US. We rode bikes or walked over to a friend's house and just yelled for them!
We did not have Playstations, X-boxes, Nintendo's, multiple channels on cable TV, DVD movies, no surround sound, no phones, no personal computers, no Internet. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! Our TV was black and white with one channel only.
We fell off trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and we still continued the stunts.
We did not have birthday parties till we were 21, that is when we started to take notice of girls and boys. In badminton, we did not change the shuttle as long as it was in flight. Regardless of how many feathers were left in the shuttle, our game continued... but still Wong Peng Soon, Tan Aik Huang, Tan Yee Khan and Ng Boon Bee, as well as Punch Gunalan, made us proud in badminton.
Match-boxes were always "chilly" or "king kong" brand. To own a box of matches from a hotel was something great.
Regardless of whether we could afford one, we always knew Maths tuition was $10 a month. All parties were held in our homes.Morris Minor and the Volkswagen beetle were on our roads...driven alongside Kingswood, Vauxhall, Opel and Chrysler. Executives of companies drove Peugeot 504. Japanese cars were considered "inferior". There were no traffic lights, only roundabouts. The whole kampung came together during kenduris and all took turns to "kacau dodol". Chinese, Indians and Malays were all part of kenduris and all of us spoke Malay. Our favourite local performer was Rose Chan, Abdullah Chik, Andre Goh and the Beatles were the most popular musical band. John Wayne's westerns were popular Sunday Cheap Matinee draws. Admission was 25 cents per person. Malay weddings had joget sessions in the night. Ketupat were NEVER plastic wrapped. Football was played, rain or shine, barefooted in "padangs", where the thorny "Touch-Me-Nots" grew in abundance. In this game, Santokh Singh, Soh Chin Ann, Arumugam and Mokhtar Dahari made us proud, we actually beat South Korea in football. Susu lembu was delivered to our house by our big, friendly and strong "Bai" on his bicycle. The "laksa" and "putu mayam" man came peddling. The "kacang puteh" itinerant hawker balanced on his head a box with 6 compartments of different type of nuts and murukus.
We played "gasing", made our own kites & had kite fighting with kite strings coated with powdered glass cooked in glue. We made wooden guns & used the green fruits from the cherry tree as bullets. Kangkong was free…easily harvested by the riverside. Kembong fish was 30 cents a "kati" and nobody wanted "ikan pari" or sting ray which was considered an inferior fish.
When the Tai Thean Kew Circus or the London Royal Circus came to town, everybody went to see it. It was the best LIVE show I ever saw.Usually we did not have to BUY fruits; they were self planted or given by neighbours or friends.
The idea of parents bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. Our parents actually sided with the law! If we were caned in school for some wrong-doing, we were sure to be caned again at home. Parents never complained about teachers to the schools. Nobody knew about child psychology !
Yet this generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!The past 40 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned ......HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM ALL!
And YOU are one of them!
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.