|Image Source : Bong Kok Liam|
Six years before I was born, Melaka largest new village is Machap Baru and the inhabitants was 1,650 followed by smaller villages like Machap Umboo and Gadek.
Back then in 1954, Machap Baru got the services of a community hall, a school, and the settlers houses and pigsties were fenced.
Life behind the fenced barbed wire was difficult and residents had to toil on lands to make ends meet. The population of Machap Baru grew to 1,922 by independence and ranked as the fifth most populated town in the State of Malacca.
After 60 years of independence, which was just celebrated last Friday, the population has reached about 16,000, eight times when Tunku proclaimed Merdeka.
My uncle bought scrap-rubber from estates around Machap when I was school-going and I remember my elder brother travelled to and fro with a small lorry. He would pick a girl from another village in Paya Ikan, to do clerical work in Machap rubber-buying shop. Later on, she married him but unfortunately, he had passed away twenty-one years ago. Three of the earliest FELDA schemes were developed in the 1950s in Melaka, and one of them is in Machap.
I loved the doors of the shop. They are make of solid plank wood measuring some 2 inches thick, 5 inches wide and 7 or 8 feet in height. Each is numbered so that the person who closed the shop for the day know which piece to slot onto the railing first.
Today, Machap Baru continue to keep her very natural beauty.
Cannot find in bigger town, Machap Baru people preserved their houses, and shops of the old version which can be seen today though the structures were introduced by their ancestors who became the earlier settlers.
I bet you. There are not many villages remaining in Malaysia, where modern Malaysians still choose to live in old-constructed houses and feast joyfully in traditional coffeeshops.
I am going to take about the Moon now.
The sun sheds golden radiance during sunrise and sunset and this explained why many people love it; even traveled far distances to capture moments of the sun digitally.
Unlike the sun, the light of the moon sheds a silver mystery over the earth. The moon belongs to the earth, and only reflects 7 percent of the sunlight.
I have heard of the Hindu community celebrating the rising sun, but I know the Chinese community celebrate the Mooncake Festival every year.
The moon is an important element in the Chinese history and the moon has guided the Chinese to prosper till today. In China, temples framed Moon Gates on their walls as a feature of the Chinese gardens attractive to onlookers and has auspicious beauty to the visitors.
Chinese lanterns resembling the shining moon, with the airy spheres inside are lit by waxed candles and they are used to lead the way, whether they are peasants or imperial officers. Other than the lanterns you can see during Mid-Autumn, you can see lanterns of the peranakan heritage in a performing theater.
On the fifteen day of each lunar, without fail, I repeat, without fail, full moon will be a beautiful sight in the dark skies. Dare you doubt, full moon will appear again on Monday 24 September 2018.
To honor the magnificent thousand years heritage and my friend’s invitation, I write this Malay poem specially dedicated to Ming Hu in particular, and the people of Machap in general. I hope Kok Liam and Ginnie Lim also like the poem.
Kuih Bulan kuih warisan,
Di dalam kuih tersirat sejarah,
Hari ini, masih dimakan,
Kepada China, Mongolia menyerah.
Berkenal Ming Hu di Mahkota Parade,
Dia budak, saya warga emas,
Jemputan ke Machap oleh adik,
Pesta Tanglung amat bernas.
… continue to read after the Machap Baru’s Mid-Autumn Festival on Sunday 16 September 2018.