[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, February 16, 2007

[The Year of the Pig]
1. While my wife is busy preparing ang pows for the New Year, I've been reading the New Year cards, clearing the letters and filing the bills. There is one card from my ancestral village in China. A few years ago, together with one of my brothers, I officiated at the re-opening of a branch Yeo clan ancestral temple in Anbu Town, Teochew City. Established during the reign of Kang Xi, it was shut down with all other ancestral temples in 1949. In the last 20 years, the temples have been re-opened one after another. The main Yeo temple was one of the first in my ancestral village to be re-established. Then the branch temples followed. When a group of clansmen decided to re-open the one from which my father descended, I was asked to be a patron. Naturally I could not refuse. After all, it was a great honour.

2. The ceremony was an elaborate affair with offerings of animals, chicken, duck, fish and fruits. The slaughtered pig and goat were slaughtered beautifully with the organs neatly placed below the disembowelled carcasses. Dressed in traditional robe, I had to pour libations of wine, kneel, stand and walk in procession many, many times. My cousins were impressed by my ability to kneel for long periods. I replied that, as a Roman Catholic, I'm used to kneeling. My daughter and three sons watched the ceremony from the side. One of them got a little dizzy from the smoke of joss sticks. The entire proceedings must have lasted some three hours.

3. A big celebratory lunch was thrown the following day with lots of delicious food. I had to deliver my speech in Teochew which was a sweat, much more than during election time. I slept late the night before to practise with the help of a relative. Looking back, it was an important event in my life and one which would have brought pride and joy to my parents. In my heart, I hope that my children would also have a sense of their roots when they grow up.

4. Chinese New Year is the most important event in the Chinese calendar. It is a time for the family to come together and to re-connect with relatives and friends, a time for us to be culturally re-centred for the year ahead.

5. I wish everyone a Very Happy New Year, God's Blessings and the Best of Health!

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your interesting writing. As usual, it shows your affinity with the sides of culture and religion that sometimes we all miss.
Best New Year wishes to you and your family.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 12:41:00 am


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