Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Can You Guess What This Palm Oil Seed Can Be Used For – Chuck Hio


One of the favourite places that my exercise buddy Chun See and I like to go to for our brisk walking is Bishan Park. I envy the residents of Bishan for having two huge, beautiful parks at their doorsteps. The first one is bounded by Bishan Road and Marymount Road, and the second one between Marymount Road and Upper Thomson Road. On those days when Chun See has to fetch her daughter from the MOE Language Centre at Bishan St 14, we would use the park connectors joining Bishan Park to Potong Pasir.


My personal favourite is the park next to Bishan Road. There is a small ‘farm’ inside the park where they (the nearby residents, I guess) have planted many types of vegetables, fruit trees and flowers. It reminds of my of my kampong. I use the opportunity to show off to my friend my knowledge of the names of the many different plants.


I was very happy to see some palm trees near to this garden. I saw many seeds on the footpath. When I was a kid growing up in our kampong at Hillview area, we used to collect these seeds. I showed some of them to my sister, and she too could recall, with fondness the ‘toy’ that we used to make with this type of palm seeds. Can you guess what toy it was?

Answer …... Wedding Rings. We kids would pretend to get married and give each other these rings.

Do you know how it is done? It is very simple actually. We simply take the seed and rub it repeatedly against a hard and rough surface such as the cement drain or floor until it becomes flat. Then we knock out the centre core and … voila, we have a cheap wedding ring.



Out of fun, I actually made one from the seeds I found at Bishan Park and gave it to my wife. When my 11-year old son saw it, do you know what he said?

“How come got no diamond?”


Victor said...

>"How come got no diamond?"

Haha, good one. Kids say the darndest thing, don't they?

BTW, I presume that the ring you made is the one on the right in the last photo. Just curious, what is the black ring on the left? A rubberband?

Anonymous said...

Kids of former years did not have much pocket money, and because of many children, parents had not much time for them (an average family had about 5 children or more). It was under such circumstances that kids, especially boys, inclined to be more innovative and adventurous, doing things that they need not pay for them, like: climbing trees, plucking fruits, played with discarded jars, stones, bicycle wheels, empty cigarette packets, match boxes, spider fighting, gathered waxy leaves as book-marks, looking for black ant holes, fishing, swimming in ponds...endless. Because of over indulgence in these care-free activities, some kids neglected their studies, as result being thrashed by their parents. Physical punishment by parents (even uncles), or teachers or principals was a norm in those days. Caning by strict principal usually took place in school assembly for all to see and for all students to take heed.

Anonymous said... has some info about palm oil! :)

kairin said...


just read it on a dreary afternoon in the office.

sure puts a smiler ler...

Unknown said...

Kids nowadays are very "xian shi" as they grow up in a vastly different world from what you guys have been through. My own childhood experiences are probably a hybrid between what Chun See's generation has experienced and what the teenagers of today can appreciate. A mix of traditional toys interspersed with primitive precursors to today's computer games.

Lam Chun See said...

I think Chuck too busy to reply so I clarify on his behalf. In the last photo, the ring is on the left. It is the final product, not a rubber band.

Victor said...

Oh really? Then, I must say that it is a very sleek ring and very well-made.

Anonymous said...

The greatest thrill in those kampong days was an annual affair of fish pond was harvesting, with all the expensive fishes mainly carps caught and sold. The pond would by then be drained out completely, leaving behind the mud with those cheap fishes like cat-fish, 'lui he' (franken fish - US term) and others, hiding in the mud, free for all to catch. All the kids, big and small, would jump gleefully into the pond, groping and catching all the remaining fishes that were left behind in the mud. The 'shiok' part was in the catching, not so much for getting the fishes themselves. A couple of unlucky kids could be stung by the sharp protruding fins (located near its mouth) of cat-fish. The victim cried for his friend's help. His friend would urinate on his injured fingers. The pain would then subsided probably due to the ammonia effect from the urine. It was an unsightly act, but who cared ? We were only kids. I was lucky and was never stung before.

Chris Sim said...

Hehehe... I didn't know "playing wedding" is a game to the kids back then. If that's the case, they would have become real pro on the actual day. Hahaha...

Victor, dun try to be funny. One look and I knew the one on the left is the end-product. Where got rings look like that on the right? Woa... is that the size of the diamond you bought for yr wife on yr wedding day? No wonder Mrs Koo dun want to let go (the diamond, not you). ROTFL.

Lam Chun See said...

Not sure how come wedding rings can lead Zen to think about catching catfishes. Can only speculate. Anyway, I remember watching all the action but not participating. Maybe too young then.