I hope everyone will have a healthy and prosperous year.
A couple of days ago, I called my uncle and aunt in Hong Kong to wish them a happy new year. It took 3 attempts before he figured out who I was. I kept yelling “Wei… wei” (hello) but I guess he didn’t hear me or didn’t recognized my voice. The 3rd time, he figured out who I was. I greeted him with the traditional kung hey fat choy. He started talking rapidly in Cantonese. I gave up after 2 seconds. I listened politely and when he finished I asked him how he was doing. He paused. I thought maybe he already just told me how he was doing. But I managed to understand a bit more of what he said this time. Eventually the phone got passed on to my aunt. I was a bit sad after we finished chatting. Both are elderly and have health issues. Sigh…
The next night, I went to J’s place for dinner with his extended family. He spent the entire day shopping and cooking. We had lobsters, shrimps and scallops with veggies, steamed crab, roast pork, bbq pork, chicken, shitake mushrooms with the “hairy” moss and abalone, fried tofu and a few traditional family dishes that I can’t translate. We rested afterwards and went to the temple. It was packed and the air was heavy with the smell of incense. The volunteers kept everyone moving efficiently. The temple had a large basement hall that had a fair and that was jammed. It was hot and hard to move around. Eventually someone opened a door to let him some cold air.
One of the things we do is hang our “wishes”. The wishes are those round red tags that are purchased. They are then hung on those pegs. Each year the temple does something a bit different. There were food and drinks being sold but I was still so stuffed from dinner. It was a late night but it was good to do this and celebrate my culture.