Sunday, April 4, 2010

清明 Qing Ming Festival

The two letter word is called Qing Ming, a festival where most Chinese visit the tombs of their ancestor and tend the graves of their departed loved-ones. Although in the modern times, as how my cousin has tag the event - a time for buffet. Why? Let me briefly explain ...

At the Hokkien Bentong Cemetery = my grandpa's resting place

Chinese families will bring offerings in food, drinks, favourite stuff (cigarette, beer, wine & etc) along with dead hell notes, joss offerings, paper offerings in the shapes of all kind (usually shirt, shoes, watches and etc...) to be burnt for the dead. For my family, food is essential ... since both mum and dad's family side serve great amount of quality food, and usually after offering the dead ... the surviving generations are suppose to eat the food for health, future offerings and will bring good omen. Which is also why my cousin calls it buffet time. Mum tells me that Qing Ming is also a time to honour the ancestor, show respect, have self reflections and continue the traditions of the family.Very deep hor!

My sisters and me, united to cam whore for the event

So, the usuals for me ... waking up early, going to the graveyard and start helping my aunts to set up, clean and etc. The scorching hot weather didn't help but the work has do go on. After an amount acts of removing dead, long-thorny weeds and so ... I saw my aunt started offering the usuals; food and paper offerings for my uncle. One came to my suprise ... It was this;


I've seen TVs, Motorbikes, Astro dishes, massage chair, nike shoes, walkman even Iphone in the cardboard origamis, but never a petrol station! So I asked ...

Me : Ah Yee! (Aunt), why you wanna burn a petrol station for Yi Chang (uncle)?
Ah Yee : Oh! So he can work in the petrol station lo
Me : *KUU DUSH - char toe!* (canton expression)
Ah Yee : Yeah, so boring la for your uncle to be down there and do nothing, he is so young
Me : Then, better not work in the petrol station la ... tell uncle that he OWNs it! He is boss!
Ah Yee : OH! GOOD IDEA ... Next year I burn him workers!
Me : *Mahu Pengsan*

Yeap ... My Qing Ming was filled with funny moments and laughter. Ironically it was suppose this depressing or "nostalgic" event ... but the modern people have treat the event with a casual and fun touch to it. Not that I am complaining ...

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