Baking Er Kuai
One morning, a young farmer named Cu Kangbao carried a basket of local goods to Kunming for sale. When entering the East Gate, he saw crowds of angry people standing there and cursing. And little babies were crying with an open mouth in their mothers’ arms. Cu stood by until he understood what was going on. Last night, the government’s second interrogation room was on fire and the cause was yet to be identified. The officer was angry to death and assumed that it must be a mob messing around. He ordered that announcements be put on the six gates of Kunming and that all people should not cook at home using fire for three months. Anyone who violates it would be severely punished.
Cu waved to the crowd, and patiently explained to them how to deal with the matter. After hearing his words, people all put on happy smiles. When they arrived home, people carried out their stoves one after another and started baking Baba, a snack made of rice, over the stoves. All enjoyed a good meal.
Knowing this, the officer hurried to inspect. He caught an old man, questioning him with threat. Cu went up and made faces to the officer saying “Sir, the announcement said “no cooking at home using fire”, but it did not ban the people from baking Baba out of home using fire. We all cook and bake our Baba out of our homes. The officer regretted deeply. He had not expected the situation would become so unmanageable.
Sa Mei people, a branch of Yi ethnic group, call Baba Er Kuai. This is the story how baked Er Kuai was passed on.