The other leisure interesting activity in the 'kampong' includes looking, catching and watching 'fighting fish' (Betta splendens) fights in small jars in the shack behind our house. Before we could enjoy the 'fighting ceremony' we must first find and catch the 'fighting fish'. Off we go to the padi fields, during off-planting-season) or at the creeks flowing gently in the vicinity of the padi fields.
To identify of the place where the fighting fish resides, you have to look for little small bubbles in small area in small (about 6 inches X 6 inches) water catchment areas in the padi fields or on the sides of the creeks. When we found the place, we would watch quietly and wait for the fighting fish to appear - sometimes it may take a good 20 minutes. As soon as we see the fighting fish, we would use both our palms to scoop the fish out (together with the water) and if we caught it, we would then place it in a small bottles. You must not mix them all together in one bottle; as they will fight each other (especially if they are both male).
After catching a few for each of us, we will then put each of them in different bottles and lay them in a row - admire them which are normally very colourful with large long tails. In between the bottles, we will have to place a small cardboard piece to make sure that they do not see each other. When it is time to make them fight, we will place them in the same bottle and watch them fight each other, until one is hurt - that it would settle to the bottom motionless.
Whichever fish won, the 'owner' will stand proud until the next time his fighting fish is beaten. Now it is commercialised that they are sold in "Aquarium Shops" and expensive too! Back then, we just search the bubbles, wait, scoop, admire and fight them till they die.
2 weeks ago