Miss & Past

For RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #35, the word prompts for the week were ‘miss’ and ‘past’. As I read the words aloud in my mind, in silence (LOL), the feeling of nostalgia surfaced. I was reminded of my grandmother (my mother’s mother) who passed on a few years ago. She lived till her 90s. So this haiku is dedicated to her memory.

In a time and age when girls were married off at the age of 14 and did not require much education except in the areas of sewing, beading, weaving, cooking and child-rearing, my great-grandfather sent my grandma to school to make sure she received a proper education. She became a teacher. 🙂  She always wore dainty blouses with fine embroidery, sarongs and beaded shoes, just like all the other nyonyas of her time.

Beaded work to be sewn into traditional peranakan or nyonya beaded slippers
Beaded work to be sewn into traditional peranakan or nyonya beaded slippers

Miss & Past

Smiling eyes; grey strands
Remembering you always
Your gentle aged hands

An original haiku by
Khor Hui Min
9 March 2015

The photo

Taken at the Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum in Melaka, Malaysia, on 6 December 2013, the photo features beaded work for a pair of Peranakan beaded slippers. The traditional craft can be traced back to the early 20th century. The Peranakan community, also popularly referred to as the Baba-Nyonya, is unique and only found in certain parts of Asia. In the Malay Peninsular, the community is commonly centred around the former British Straits Settlements of Penang (northern), Melaka (central) and Singapore (southern). The community came into being when Chinese traders married the local Malay women and settled down in the area. The ladies were referred to as nyonya, while the men were referred to as baba.

To read more about the Peranakan and their beaded shoes, you can check out my earlier post entitled What am I?, which came with a riddle.