Thursday, July 12, 2007

Is Your Dream Lucky Enough?

There was a time during our Japanese language lesson that we were discussing about Japanese proverb that has relation with animals. I'm just going to take one of what we had discussed. I guess most of you guys have heard of this, but anyway, I will still mention it here again for those who haven't heard about it yet. It goes like this.
「猿も木から落ちる」(Saru mo ki kara ochiru)
If I put it in English, it would be something like "Even monkeys do fall down from the tree (sometimes)". Basically, it means that even someone who is expert in doing something, he/she still will make mistakes once in a while. I couldn't recall an English proverb which is almost the same meaning as that as my English is more England than you thought all this while.
Anyway, there's one in Malay though. But they use squirrel instead of monkey. "Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke longkang juga" was the Malay version. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.
Actually proverbs is not the main topic in this post. Instead, it's about dreams. As we were talking about so many animals in that proverb part, one of the animals made my sensei changed wind. She went and talk about what a particular thing means in dream that have some connections with one of the animals we previously discussed.
From proverb, our sensei eventually asked us if we have any idea about Japan's Top 3 Dreams. We was told that during the second night of the Japanese New Year, which falls on the January 1st annually, there are 3 top things that if you happened to dream about them, they will bring you good luck.
And hence, she let us guess those three things. The third was a vegetable. What vegetable do you think? The sensei was so confident that we will never got it right as she asked us to name all the vegetables that we know and also offered 100yen to anyone who can get it right. What la! Already know that we could hardly name any vegetables in Japanese and she was making such offer! -.-
When she gave us a hint that it's a long purple kind of vegetable, then everyone started hitting at their electronic dictionary. But it was too little too late as the offer has been closed. Now, have you got any idea what vegetable she was referring to? You guessed it right. It's eggplant or more commonly known as terung.
I just couldn't figure it out how on earth could such a vegetable being believed to bring good luck. The reason is because in Japanese , it’s called 茄子 (nasu). There is another word, 成す also with the same pronunciation, which means 'form', 'constitute' or just simple 'make', as in making babies. I guess if those couple who have difficulties making babies and when they go to find the traditional bidan in Japan, it would be something like this.

Guy: Bidan ar, my this wife hor, gort some probrem la. Nabeh! We liao liao try and try oredi ebeli nite. Budden hor, still the baby didn't came out.

Bidan: Like that ar? You gort hear before onot, if eat certain vegetables, your babies will come out like kacang!

Girl: Gort, it's callot right?

Bidan: Steewpid! Callot your head la. So like callot isit?. No wonder you teeth just like Bugs Bunny la. Not callot la. It's nasu (eggplant) la! Then only you can nasu (make) many many babies ma!

Guy: Really ka? Then I will get her nasu ebeliday liao.

Bidan: You siao ar? You think you si mi factory now? Later your anak come out like 101 Dalmations baru cai si (tau mati)!

The second on the list was 鷹 (taka) or hawk. The reason behind this is because it seems that hawk is such an animal that usually be proud of its own abilities and doesn't show them to others. But so far, the only bird I have noticed here till now is crow or gagak. It reminds me of Klang everytime I see a gagak. If you never been to Klang before, let me tell you this. There got damn a lot of gagak.

Why am I promoting gagak and Klang here when I was talking about hawk? I have no idea either. But I have the feeling that whenever there's a shortage of meat supply, probably the bak kut teh in Klang uses gagak's meat as their main ingredients. They might as well call it Ooo Akk Kut Teh.

And for the top of the lot, we guessed it as sakura. It was closed, but not exactly. So, what do you think that if they were to dream of during the New Year, it will bring the Japanese good luck. Guess, guess and guess, we later found out that it was Mount Fuji.

So the top three are:
1. Mount Fuji
2. Hawk
3. Eggplant

After getting to know about this, I thought why not I try making a Malaysian version for it. After letting my brain into a deep-fry with some insane consideration, my top 3 (from 3rd to the 1st) would be as follows.

#3 Pumpkin

As how the pronunciation goes, pumpkin sounds like 'pump' to me. So it's not surprisingly that by eating more pumpkins, you can pump more and hence, making babies more often.

And another thing, it's not just about English pronunciation. Say pumpkin in Hokkien and you will get 'kimkua'. Here I didn't mean that it will make you a golden ah kua. Instead, it means golden melon. Indirectly, it could bring good luck in the New Year if you happen to dream about pumpkin.

#2 Sang Kancil

Well, who doesn't know about the story of this mouse deer. Remember how it tricked the crocodiles while trying to cross the river? I pick mouse deer over tiger because of it smartness although it's just a small sized animal.

And also, Kancil is our (second) national car!
#1 Mount Kinabalu

Gunung Ledang came close, but how could I not pick Mount Kinabalu, right? If the Japanese are so proud of their Mount Fuji, why not us with our very own Mount Kinabalu? Although it's only the 3rd highest mountain in South East Asia (I bet you will doubt me on this, but the facts are here), it's still something we should be proud of, don't u think so? I'm not sure where is the connection between Mount Kinabalu with bringing luck to us, but that would be my top choice.

What do you guys think of my Top 3 list for the Malaysian version? If you have any interesting ideas than I mentioned above, then just share it here. It's not necessary has to be an animal or mountains. If you think it does make sense and could bring good luck on the New Year, that that would be no problem already.

Lets see what you could come out with!


dodo said...

Hey japjap. it's "Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke TANAH juga." Not "longkang" lar. aduh~ ....n oh yah. whats the difference btwn eggplant and brinjal? i thought there're almost the same right? i thought eggplants r in round shape one huh. on the other hd, isnt that the one posted in ur blog a brinjal?

Calvin said...

dodo: whether it's longkang, parit or tanah, in the end, the tupai jatuh also right? ^.-

eggplant, aubergine or brinjal (Solanum melongena) are all the same thing, which refers to terung. i usually call it brinjal though.

mafiqam said...

i wonder...nape la kat jepun ni nampak gagak saja ha

Calvin said...

mafiqam: hi! first time seeing you here :)

aku rasa pasal burung lain dah pupus kot. yang tinggal hanya gagak :P

ns29 said...

And the gagak in Japan really big...I wonder where they could find their food since Japanese never put their rubbish outside of dustbin??
I laugh when read till the longkang part!Guess it might be easier to remember if every proverb funny like this!LOL
No comment on lucky dream leh..shiawase dream maybe la..
by the way,how to say shiawase in english ar??

Calvin said...

ns29: those gagaks are giants! maybe they feed on milk kua :P

i hope someone from DBP is reading this and change it into longkang. easier to remember, right?

ohh yea, shiawase is happiness in english. that's the closest word i could think of.

amalina said...

I saw a bangau b4...betul2 kat tgh2 kosen...sesuatu yg pelik as my tannin garb his camera n shot the burung`s pic...
gagak b pipit byk....huuuu

Calvin said...

amalina: why pulak that bangau go and sesat in your kosen? was it because it had lost its way?