Last weekend, my family and I attended a wedding celebration and we were given some tokens in form of ‘bunga telur’ (‘bunga’ means flower and ‘telur’ means egg) by our host. Bunga telur is actually hard boiled egg decorated with plastic/ paper/ crystal flowers or decorated in boxes (or in container) made of paper, ceremic and even crystal.
Mum told me that in the old days (in Terengganu) the eggs for ‘bunga telur’ would be painted red using red food colouring. But mum has no idea of why the eggs were painted red and not other colour. It would made more sense if that (colouring the eggs red) were practiced by the Chinese since they believe that red brings them good luck. Anyway I do not have the chance to see ‘telur merah’ or red coloured eggs.
Now I’m wondering why did eggs were used as a wedding token in Malay tradition. However, nowadys sweets, candies, chocolates, cupcakes and others are sometimes used instead of eggs. But somehow eggs are still widely used and we would end up with lots of hard boiled eggs during the wedding season.
In Malaysia the Malays use hard boiled eggs to garnish their dishes such as fried noodle, salad, various kinds of ‘laksa’ and much more. Hard boiled egg is also used for egg curry, egg sambal, egg sandwiches and even in a special rice dish called nasi telur (nasi means rice and telur means egg).
It is interesting to note that certain people belief that eating raw eggs mixed with honey will make them healthier. Raw eggs are also used in other drinks such as mixed them with fresh milk or carrot juice.
So special are the eggs that in the old days (I heard this tale from my grandmother) they even find the use for rotten eggs. Rotten eggs or ‘telur tembelang’ in Trengganuspeak are used to show hatred and were thrown at an enemy or their house. What a bad attitude. Alhamdulillah such incidence does not happen anymore (or at least I hope so!)