Friday, December 21, 2007

Dong Zhi

December 22nd 2007 is Dong Zhi ( 冬至, WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL, Arrival Of Winter ) - The Chinese thanksgiving day. Here is to all Chinese in every corner of the world, a happy family reunion. May your Tang Yuan ( 湯圓 ) be sweet and bring you optimism, greater family unity, and prosperity.

Dong Zhi is the most important festival by the Chinese Hokkien. For the Hokkien-lang, eating of Tang Yuan ( Rice Glutinous Balls served in sweet syrup ) and offering of prayer to ancestors on this winter solstice day is mandatory. You are considered to be "one year older" after eating the Tang Yuan. For those ladies who want to be forever young, please refrained from taking Tang Yuan during Dong Zhi.

How time flies. I remembered, as a young boy, on the morning of Dong Zhi, my mother taught me how to roll various colours of glutinous rice ball and preparing the sweet pandan flavour syrup. She said, if you want to enjoy good luck and healthy during the next 12 months, all of us must eat a small bowl of a mixture of PINK and WHITE tang yuan. In the morning of Dong Zhi, my late mother prepared and presented elaborate prayers and offerings to ancestor. My late mother used to tell us, when we drink the water, we must always remember the source. No matter where we are, we must always remember our home town and our ancestors. To her, her home town is Fujian, China. But for me, my home town is Taiping, Perak. Malaysia is a place I called home, but Malaysia is also a place where I shed silent tears for all the hardships my parents received. I do hope, as times progress, things will change for the better for my children.

As I grow older. the earth seemed to spin faster and the days seemed shorter. It seemed like yesterday that I celebrated previous year Dong Zhi festival. How times flies, and my children are growing tall. My parent home towns are in China. Taiping is my home town, but for my children, Kuala Lumpur is their home town. All these relativity of origins, was it my so called Chinese diaspora ?

On this eve of Dong Zhi, where the night is longer than the day, I am thinking of my late parents and my sweet home town, Taiping - The town of everlasting peace. Perhaps, this simple poem by LiBai sums up my sentimental feelings tonight.


To all Chinese in the world, may you all have a happy and joyous Dong Zhi festival. Good NiteZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..

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