Monday, February 25, 2013

My Parents 陳鹞飛/陈鹞飞

 A Young Father, John Chan Hiu Fei, 陳鹞飛/陈鹞飞
My parents were married during the World War 2, (Japanese War), they didn't take a wedding photo. This photo was taken in 1976, my Dad's last entitlement for a world trip as a senior servant. They went to to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Dad chose Taiwan because that was nearest to China he could take Mother to. At that time, Malaysians were not allowed to go to China. They went to New Zealand to attend my brother Charles Chok Kwong's graduation. Charles was capped with an LLB.

The Japanese came, at fifteen, Mother gave up her dreams of studying in the big city and became a candidate for a child bride match making session. Ah Tai promised her that she would choose a young man of fine character, educated and from a good family. Ah Tai went out to reconnoiter with her cousin Lai Siong who was a match maker. She must have loved her granddaughter so much to travel during the perilous war time in a little canoe. Together they scoured fifty miles of both sides of Rejang River, and the whole of Sibu town. Word came that five miles upriver was that fine young man who fitted the bill. He was unfortunately not a Hakka but a Kwong Ning boy and a Chan.
Traditionally the Hakka Kongs married only the Hakka Lais, and vice versa. The Cantonese Chans married only the Cantonese Lees, and vice versa. But then beggars cannot be choosers.
 Was Father a willing partner? Father had to be practical and quickly find a wife. For him, it was the fear of forcefully conscripted to the Japanese army. 

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