Monday, February 9, 2009

Hing Lee, Chap Goh Meh & Thaipusam

Kedai Kopi Hing Lee

I went to Kedai Kopi Hing Lee today. It has been a few years since the last time i visited that shop. I like the fact that their noodles prepared according to the "Tawau" style, with pork slices and pork entrails. The local Hakka called it "Chi Cap Mien".

Besides Seafood, i think Pork Noodles is the only other food that Tawau is famed for. Kedai Kopi Hing Lee offers the best Pork Noddles in town. It was cooked in the traditional way with charcoal. The soup tend to stay hot for a long long time.

By the way, you've got to love crowds to love Hing Lee's. You've got to love people watching you with hawk eyes, willing you to hurry up so they can have your table.

I ordered "kon low" Pork Noodles. The pork still as tender as ever, and the soup still taste as "porky" as ever! It costs me RM4.50 per bowl.

However, i noticed that the pork slices has shrink considerably in portion since the last time i visited them. The fact that i seldom go there makes it seems more obvious.

Chap Goh Meh

Today is the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year. It is known as yuán xiāo jié (元宵节), otherwise known as Chap Goh Meh (literally "fifteen night") in Hokkien dialect.

Today we see the gathering of family members as they sit down for a dinner together. One of the specialties for today is Tang Yuan, a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in soup. Chap Goh Meh often marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Apart from being tagged as the last day, Chap Goh Meh is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. One of the activities that take place tonight includes the throwing of oranges into the sea by young maidens. It is believed that by throwing oranges into the sea, these young girls would find themselves a good husband.

Throwing of oranges, however, isn't an ancient Chinese tradition - this practice originated from Penang Island. This took place some time towards the end of the 19th century.

While many no longer believe in it, yet it is still a fun thing to do or observe.


Thaipusam is an annual Hindu festival which draws large gathering in multi-racial Malaysia.

In Tawau, the Thirumurugan Temple is the place for this important occasion. The oldest in Sabah, yet very little known. This temple located near an army camp at Jalan Utara, 2 miles from Tawau town. It was said that the design of Thirumurugan Temple follows that of South Indian temples.

Thaipusam is a Hindu religious festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Muruga, and also the celebration of his parents presenting to him the vel (lance) in order for him to vanquish the evil. The festival is celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai.

During this event, devotees carry the kavadi or milk pot, run on fire, and pierce their body as it portrays their way of showing gratitude to Lord Muruga. Devotees also prepare themselves a month before the celebration by fasting and abstaining themselves from worldly pleasures.

It was sad to note that Morning Post, one of the established local newspaper in town, did not report on the Thaipusam celebration in Tawau. There were only reports on Thaipusam celebration in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, which was larger in scale as compared to the one in Tawau.

Although Tawau's Hindus only formed a small fraction of the whole community in Tawau, i do think they deserve a recognition for such a grand annual celebration like Thaipusam.

1 comment:

  1. where is hing lee acutally located..building road e.t.c