Yes, this was a bit surprising.
As I mentioned earlier, though I’m a Chinese descendant, I rarely keep up with all of Chinese ritual and traditions because my mom doesn’t really think about it too much. From my mom’s family, the last one that keep it still was my grandma, since she originally came from China Land.
One thing I could recall perfectly is how we would gather together during Chinese new year eve to have a hotpot dinner, which she prepared by herself.
There would be a pot at the center of the table, boiling hot and full of many ingredients: veggies, meatball, sukiyaki meat. The main character of that night would be this “uang emas”, made from minced meat wrapped with yellow omelet, as symbolization of prosperity in the coming year ahead.
But then I grew up so far away from home. I missed so many new year eve dinner, and then just at one point, it stopped. My grandma’s health and mind is slowly decreasing. There weren’t any gathering anymore, no family dinner, no hotpot,no uang emas, no celebration. Chinese New Year has slowly become any ordinary day.
And today, I just happen to be in my hometown Bogor, and so does my brother, who comes all the way from Singapore with my uncle and aunty. We do have some plan to gather a day after the Chinese new year, in order to introduce my Nadha Bum to my mom’s big family. But when I came to my grandma’s place, I was quite surprised. I just didn’t see it would come this way.
There was a pot on the center of the table, surrounded by plates full of veggies, sukiyaki meat, meatball, mushroom, tofu, and so many other ingredients. All was prepared by my aunty, including this little one that recalled the memory of my childhood.
Uang emas :’)
Not only those, she also brought us a plate full of colorful interesting unknown ingredients I never seen before. Later, I just found out that it was a appetizer dish, known as Yee Sang Salad. In Singapore, it’s one of inseparable part of new year eve dinner. Any Chinese new year celebration won’t be complete without some Yee Sang.
Essentially, Yee Sang salad is made of numerous colorful ingredients. The variety of the ingredients itself is quite optional and substitutable. Mainly, there would be some kind of pickled, ginger, shredded raw fish, radish and many other things based on the creativity.
After pouring it on the very big plate, all of us gathered together around the table with chopstick on our hand. Apparently, we would toss the ingredients together, as high as we could, while shouting our wishes to mark the beginning of the coming year. My aunty said, the higher you toss, the more your prosperity and good fortunes will be!
*tossing it as higher as it would let me do so xD
*come, good fortunes, hurry come to mama, please xD
It was a very interesting experience!
The hotpot dinner was already surprised me, seeing the uang emas was nostalgic, but having this Yee Sang salad for the first time together with them makes this whole new year dinner worthwhile. 😀
I bet, this is truly a sign of a good year ahead. Definitely would treasure this kind of tradition and ritual more dearly 🙂
Gong xi fa cai!
Wishing us all a prosperous Chinese New Year with tons of good fortune and blessing along the way!