Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Most family would probably demand for a reunion at this particular time of the year, when people come together and tell each other how they look like compared to the year before, be it in a positive or negative manner.
The younger generation will obviously attract the most attention, in which the adults would start groping them everywhere appropriate and telling them how big and huge they get and how the adults have grown older. Well, at least this is what happens in MOST traditional Chinese family.
I for once would love to have a Christmas experience in 2011, and the exchange of presents and turkey smacking would really occur. You remember how we were fascinate by those Christmas dinners shown in the 19" TV back in the 00's? Some how I am just dying to experience those kind of scenarios, at least once before I enter adulthood. Not to say that I'm not going to celebrate it later on, to celebrate the festival with a child's heart, is some how different to me.
At any rate, I'm a somewhat semi-traditional Chinese, and there are some traditional festivals which I still require my conscious to hold up and practice.
The winter festival/solstice, also known as 冬至 is a day when most Chinese families reunites and celebrates the festival by making and eating glutinous rice balls or dumplings together.
From where I see it, the whole point of the festival is providing s short time span for the family to spend while working on the dumplings together. The spherical shape of the dumpling somehow resembles and becomes a pun for the unity of a family, namely 团圆。
团is most probably referring to the pre-deposition of the rice balls, and the rice flour exists in the state of a lump, somehow close to a ball shape before it is nipped down to small sizes.
圆is obviously referring to the shape of the made rice balls, where their shapes are more or less spherical in shape.
When these 2 Chinese characters are used together, they bring the meaning of Unity. And I believe the whole point of celebrating this solstice is to strengthen the bond and promote the unity of a family.
What we normally do in MY family is pretty much the same every year, including the constant yelling at each other for those blardy-damned-looking rice balls as if each of them got rolled down the stairs at least a few thousand times.
Since I'm the biggest, literally, in the family, I was held responsible to knead the rice flour until they become tender and good-looking enough to be sliced and diced into spherical balls.
Well, throughout the session of flour pounding and rice ball spherical-synthesizing, any topic can be raised including the color of the rice balls, down to how lights are being refracted(all hail light spectrum), what size of the rice balls will be the best, and back to bombarding each other for the absurd-shaped rice balls.
I do enjoy most of the sessions, except for the constant blaming of the parents for how things got messed up, when it was clearly their fault. Well, its just so typical of adults to not admit they are wrong and blaming the youngsters for their fall.
Did I mentioned about the soup? Well I'm not sure what kind of culinary term to use here, I guess sweet soup is the best word to describe it. It's basically a boil of pandan leaves and sugar into simmer and the addition of ginger slices to give it some tangy sensation instead of the bland sweetish taste. Believe it or not, when the balls and the soup come together, it tasted as if the flare blazed all over you, or at least, me.
Well, that's practically what I have celebrated throughout these 2 weeks after STPM.
Celebrating the solstice once more reminds me of how fast 2010 has passed, and I have already grown older by a year. When I look back, I've realized that I've grown in ways that I might or might not like them. Shall I stay as wise as a sage like how I've been throughout 2010, or shall jump into the kinky and perky me back in 2008? It's like a transition between teenage and adulthood, but I would like to have the best of both worlds.(no I don't really fancy Miley Cyrus)
Well, guess I shall head back to university application tomorrow, seeing how time really dislike me by driving me right to the wall.
I shall enjoy my Tang Yuan the first thing I wake up tomorrow.