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Malunggay Mishaps: A Nostalgic Hunt for a Taste of Home in UAE

As she casually harvests malunggay leaves, Kris Fade's nanny unwittingly ignites laughter and a surge of nostalgia among Filipinos in the UAE.

Kris Fade’s nanny unintentionally sparks laughter and a wave of nostalgia among Filipinos in the UAE as she casually gathers malunggay leaves from a neighbor’s garden, triggering a viral video and heartfelt responses from the community.

Humorous Apology and Shared Moments:

Amidst the video’s humor, Kris Fade apologizes to their neighbors in a caption, acknowledging the uproar it caused within the Filipino community, evident in the flood of nearly 30,000 reactions and a comments section brimming with affectionate responses.

Relatable Acts and Fond Memories:

The act strikes a chord with many, reflecting the cultural familiarity of Filipinos picking malunggay leaves from neighbors’ gardens. 

Residents like Sheryl Escasinas and Chelly Antipuesto share their experiences, underscoring the plant’s communal significance and the joy of sharing its nutritional benefits.

Unveiling the ‘Malunggay’

Exploring the significance of malunggay, known as ‘moringa’ globally and a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, it is sold in UAE supermarkets under the label “drumstick leaves,” yet holds a distinct sentimental value for Filipinos, evoking memories of community sharing back home.

Embracing Familiarity in a New Land:

For Filipinos in the UAE, acquiring malunggay from a shop differs from the communal sharing they’re accustomed to back in the Philippines. 

The hunt for ‘drumstick trees’ echoes the longing for the familiar practice of freely obtaining the cherished leaves within their neighborhoods.

Tales of Resourcefulness and Attachment:

Instances like Lynne’s resourceful retrieval of malunggay after relocating reflect Filipinos’ strong attachment to this plant. Sahany, her employer, acknowledges the deeper significance behind Lynne’s efforts, bridging cultural gaps in understanding.

The narrative highlights the cultural significance of malunggay and its role in fostering a sense of community and nostalgia among Filipinos in the UAE.

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