We were at the kopitiam eating Hainanese chicken rice and I decided to plant some roots in my kids. They love Hainanese chicken rice and I told them, hey, I am a Hainanese and I can cook chicken rice too (but never done it before though). Kids’ eyes were glazed and they were too busy eating to take in the sejarah lesson. Heck, they couldn’t care less to what I am saying. My words probably were one ear in, one ear out, only rice go down. I continue blabbing like grandmas do all the time. I reminded them that their grandfather and granduncle, my father and his brother travelled from the coconut trees island of Hainan across the big, big sea to Malaya. Grandpa was from China and yet, he learnt English and became an English teacher. Still not much reaction, still not amused. *sigh*…. the next time I tell them this story again, I should probably add in a few pirates whom grandpa fought on the rough seas, grandpa found some of the pirate treasures but there is a map of more hidden treasure somewhere.
Since they see Hainanese chicken rice stalls more than any Hakka mee stalls (btw, anyone knows what Hakkas are famous for?), I suppose it is safe to assume that my boys will remember that they are suku Hainanese and proud of it when they grow up. (I am half Hainanese ‘cos mom is a SingNing so my kids mah become suku lor). Other than using Hainan chicken rice to instil this lesson on roots, I really do not know other ways. After all, the only Hainanese word I know is of course the one and only bad word everyone knows. PLK! And all I can find on Hainan island is this.