My Island Penang

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Tsao Chun or Chow Kong

Our Penang Folktale

Tsao Chun or Chow Kong, was once a mortal man, married to a virtuous lady. But he left his wife for a young girl he fell in love with.

And bad luck followed him. And the Kitchen God became penniless and blind, the young girl left him and he has to resort to begging.

He happened to beg for food in his former wife house. Being blind he did not recognize her. Being a virtuous person, she show mercy on him and invited him in.

She cooked him a fabulous meal and tended to him lovingly. As she was kind to him, Tsao Chun related to her his story and as he began to cry.

His eyesight was miraculously restored. He could recognize his former wife. He was overcome with shame that he threw himself into the hot pit kitchen hearth. She tried to save him. And only his leg was her remembrance and what is left of him.

Still then, the wife created a shrine above the fireplace where he died. You get to see this shrine in country side homes and the clipper that is use to remove charcoal from the stove is Chow Kong's leg.

Well, since then people worship the kitchen god and offer sweet things before he went to report to his superior.

Not only offer food but sweeties to stop him reporting our wrong doings. Glued his mouth to stop him pronouncing properly. Now we know when corruption starts.

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