of Yaps and Cheng

loving living

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60th birthday bash for big uncle!

Been ages since I’ve been downtown east. Urgh, Ultimate East. But big uncle’s surprise party at Aranda Country Club was worth the trip for some good old fashion family fun. It was like Chinese New Year gathering, but chalet-style. There were a lot of people – extended families from both uncle and aunty sides. That involved some major coordination. Kudos to Aaron, Yvonne and Qiqi!

Us cousins (ok ok, just me) tried to spring in some drama/weird/eerie surprise element since it was a surprise bash for big uncle, and he was going around Aranda in circles while Yvonne and Qiqi directed all guests to find the chalet unit. Luckily, we ended up simply gathered by the door, with lights on, and clapped to shouts of “Happy Birthday!”. Big uncle responded with a wonderful look of surprise. Mission accomplished.

Happy 60th, big uncle!

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Chap Goh Meh/ Yuan Xiao Jie/ Lantern Festival

Chap Goh Meh (十五暝) with the family plus the all important yummy tangyuan (汤圆) in a long long time. All thanks to Jingheng for  struggling against napping at my sis’ place for so long such that we missed the time to hit home before the crazy peak hour.

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I have no idea 元宵节 is also known as Lantern Festival, which I have always associated with the Mooncake Festival (Mummy, it’s Mid Autumn Festival! No wonder you are mixing up all the names! Don’t teach me the wrong things!). Being the food-crazy Singaporeans we are, I am not surprised we’ve retained the tradition of eating, but pretty much left the lanterns-carrying to Mid Autumn and riddle-guessing 猜灯谜 to the very clever people down by the 河畔. Well, I hope Jingheng can pick up some 灯谜 skills from his Ah Gong and 姑婆!

I also didn’t know 元宵 actually means tangyuan! What…?! Yuanxiao has been used by northern Chinese since Ming Dynasty, but the southern Chinese renamed it to tangyuan, a more literal description of the food. That explains why we know it as tangyuan, since we are also southern Chinese by descent. I wonder what my Beijing/ Tianjin friends call it as?

Note to self: Do not offer tangyuan (with fillings) to a coughing toddler, no matter how teeny tiny the portion is. Potent to cough. To experiment with a plain tangyuan in future when all factors are correct.

Yummy yuanxiao. Can’t wait for dongzhi.