Dad’s 67th birthday

17 03 2012

We celebrated dad’s birthday today, since it’s the weekend and everyone was gathered as usual. We went for a sumptuous dinner and once home, we rested a while before proceeding to cut the birthday cake.



Mom’s Birthday Celebration

8 01 2012

Today we had an early celebration of mom’s birthday, which is actually on next Friday by Chinese calendar.

We went for dinner outside and then adjourned back home for cake-cutting candle-blowing celebration.



Lantern Time

11 09 2011

中秋节又来临了! It’s mooncake festival time again and as usual, we would all gather for dinner and let the kids play with lanterns (more like candles only nowadays).

It seems the festival is no longer like what it was meant to be, where children of the surrounding would all gather and go for walkabouts while the adults would gather to taste the mooncakes. Modern-day paranoia has made it such that all the kids celebrate within the confines of their own home only, while mooncakes are bought more for giving and not so much for eating. Seriously, have you seen some of the odd-taste mooncakes being sold? *BWEEAAGGHHHH*

Charlotte’s 6th Birthday

10 04 2010

We celebrated my niece Charlotte’s 6th birthday today. We bought her books as presents, which we bought from MPH Mid Valley this morning. Happy Birthday, Charlotte.

Dad’s 65th Birthday

20 03 2010

Tonight we celebrated dad’s 65th birthday. We took him out for an eight-course dinner at Jun Kee Restaurant in Taman Midah.

After dinner, we went back home to celebrate his birthday. Just so happened that a group of his friends dropped by to visit, so we had more people to share the joy and the cake.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Trip To Ulu Bendul

27 10 2008

We took a trip to Ulu Bendul Recreational Forest today with Christina’s relatives i.e. brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. We departed from the house at 9.15am and reached there around 10.00am, just nice to find a cool and relaxing spot.

The water was ice-cold, since it flowed down from the mountains above. The kids had a fun time swimming in the pool, while the adults were all busy eating and drinking all the food that was brought there.

Julia and Tze Wei enjoying some grub after a swim.

Julia and Tze Wei enjoying some grub after a swim.

Jason and mommy having a go at the waters.

Jason and mommy having a go at the waters.

"I'm hungry. Where's my food?"

"I'm hungry. Where's my food?"

We left around 3.00pm and headed back home, where everyone just kinda napped because of tiredness. We left Jason back at the babysitter’s in the evening and had dinner before heading back to Klang. It was a slow drive back, as the highway was jammed with other commuters heading back too after a long weekend.

Funeral Rites Final

28 09 2008

Today, my mother-in-law was finally laid to rest via cremation at the Fairy Park cemetery in Sendayan. There was a band to play some sombre music, which would also make it a grand sending-off for her. We were asked to have one final look and say our goodbyes before the coffin was really nailed shut for good.

As per Chinese custom, we looked away while they nailed the coffin shut and again, when they brought it out into the road for final rites. The hearse was estimated to leave at around 1.00 pm. Interestingly, only then did I know that all bereaved, relatives and friends would follow behind the hearse while the sons-in-law (and grandsons-in-law) would travel in front of the hearse.

If you note the tall red banner flag from the picture above, it actually has writings on it that glorifies the deceased and it is meant to represent the sons-in-law honouring their mother-in-law. Chinese customs deem a son-in-law as ‘fu-ma’ (emperor’s son-in-law) that have married the family princess, thus it is right for a ‘fu-ma’ to glorify the princess’ family.

I was asked to do the honour of carrying the banner flag for the family.

A short walking journey ensued from the house till the main road, before we all got into a bus to travel to Fairy Park. There, we witnessed the symbolic push-in of the coffin into the crematorium before we were asked to leave.

We rested at the waiting hall, where all the bereaved kin were asked to remove their mourning clothing to symbolically avoid bad luck associated with death. We then feasted on roast pig meat that was presented by the sons-in-law as a tribute to the deceased. We then left and got back to the house, where final rites were made to allow her tablet to be placed at the ancestral altar temporarily.

She had lived a long and fruitful life, surrounded by many relatives and friends. May she finally rest in peace.

Funeral Rites III

27 09 2008

Most of the people here are quite tired by today, as it has been four days and three nights of endless activities, rituals and rites.

The coffin was symbolically ‘shut’ to signify a separation of the dead from the living. Before it was shut, all of us were asked to place some ‘scripture money’ inside her coffin, so as to enable her to carry it forward into her reincarnation and be reborn into a wealthy life. The real nailing shut of the coffin would be done tomorrow.

Nearing the end of tonight’s rituals, it was time to burn the paper house, car, effigies and ‘hellnotes’ that were folded since the first day of ritual. It is hoped that she would not need to toil in the afterlife with all these ‘wealth’ sent to ease her journey in the other world and bribe her with the officials of the other world so that she may be allowed to be reincarnated.

Well, that’s it for the night rituals. Tomorrow, she will finally be laid to rest.

Funeral Rites II

26 09 2008

Folklore says that when a person dies, the deceased will somehow come back in one form or another to have one last look at the living before the soul rests in peace. Well, if this is to be believed, then my mother-in-law  could be claimed to have come back to take one last look.

This leaf insect appeared this morning and stayed around till late at night. Some of the kids even teased the insect by calling out her name to it and if twitching is considered a response, then I guess we can console ourselves that she’s back for one last look.

It had been decided that she would be laid to rest by cremation this Sunday, the final resting place at Fairy Park in Sendayan. A notice was put up as per Chinese custom to inform all concerned.

Paper effigies were also sent here for rituals in time for burning tomorrow. The usual ‘material wealth’ to be ‘sent’ to her included a house, a car, a butler, a maid and plenty of servants.

Oh, not forgetting the modern-day handphone and (surprise!) ‘Astlo’ satellite entertainment.

'Nokkia' phone with Bluetooth accessories!

'Nokkia' phone with Bluetooth accessories!

'Astlo' satellite dish for Wah Lai Toi programs.

Ancient Chinese funeral rites were long and complicated. Back then, the bereaved family members were to kneel by the side of the coffin most of the time, even for meals and sleeping. They were expected to wail and cry loudly as a sign of respect and loyalty to the deceased.

Today however, as times have progressed and changed, modern funeral rites are more relaxed. Kneeling and crying has been kept to a minimal as and when necessary, and the bereaved are free to attend to anything that requires their attention.

Funeral rites resumes this evening, and will continue tomorrow.

Funeral Rites I

25 09 2008

Funeral arrangements started since last night, where the body was dressed properly and laid in a coffin. By noon most of the arrangements were in place and the wake started. Her sons and daughters-in-law, as well as her daughters, all wore black pants/white shirts, while the grandchildren all wore blue. Sons-in-law were exempted, as we are considered outsiders.

An interesting point to note is about the age written on the lantern above. Roman calendar dictates that she would be 65 years old but Chinese calendar would normally add one more year to take into account the nine months of one being conceived. How then does 70 years old get represented for her?

Chinese custom dictates that when one dies, three additional years are normally added, one each for Heaven, Earth and Mankind. So 66+3 = 69, right? One more was added due to the fact that she had ‘five’ generations of lineage when she passed away i.e. ancestral, herself, her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. So, all in it would be 69+1=70 years old. Interesting.

Anyway, Hokkien funeral customs meant that funeral rites started only in the evening.

Taoist funeral rites started from 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm, and will continue tomorrow.