JOHN WALKER & SONS XR21 Legacy Collection Foochow
The Sibu Foochow Association in Sarawak, also dubbed ‘Little Fuzhou’, is the most notable architecture in Sibu. A portrait of Wong Nai Siong, a scholar and community leader can be found in the memorial hall. It was Huang that brought in the first group of Foochow immigrants to help him develop the settlement and build a successful port in Sibu.
The Foochow people originated from the Fujian province in Southeast China. Known to be hard-working and enterprising, it is said that the Foochow people brought ‘three heads’ and ‘three knives’ in their journey to Southeast Asia. The ‘Three heads’ symbolises their contribution to the community. Whereas, ‘three knives’ represent the skills that they used to make a living after settling down.
In Foochow tradition, families will cook red wine noodles on the first day of the lunar New Year to symbolise longevity and auspiciousness. It is also a staple for other festive seasons and confinement periods. This custom is most commonly found in Sitiawan and Sibu, Malaysia.
Kompia is a traditional snack based on Fuzhou’s ‘Ma Bing’ (sesame cake), Lo Qu Biang is a mooncake that Foochow people would eat during the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is made of glutinous rice flour and water that are cut into strips and fried.
For Foochows, the number 9 represents a hard time. Early in the morning on the 29th day of the first lunar month, families would make ‘Fuzhou Porridge’ as a token of worship to ancestors or as gifts to relatives and friends. Married daughters would also prepare ‘Fuzhou porridge’, longevity noodles, eggs, and trotters to be sent back home to honour their parents.