Friday June 22, 2012
A tradition to inspire
By CHRISTOPHER TAN
Photos by WAN MOHIZAN WAN HUSSEIN
THE Chinese should pass on their traditions to future generations so the community’s culture would continue to thrive.
Bukit Gelugor Barisan Nasional coordinator Datuk Koay Kar Huah said for example, the Chinese should understand the reason behind the dumpling or Chang Festival.
“Tasty glutinous rice dumpling (chang or zong zi) is eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu Jie) which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the Chinese calendar.
“The Duan Wu Jie is to commemorate Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who had drowned himself in protest against the ruler and corrupt practices in China more than 1,000 years ago,” Koay said.
It is said that the people threw rice dumplings into the river to prevent fish from eating his remains while the beating of drums during the Dragon Boat Festival was to frighten the fish away.
Koay said the Chang Festival also teaches the community to be patriotic.
“Qu Yuan was a patriot and loyal to the Emperor. However, his advice fell on deaf ears.
“There is so much that the community can learn from our Chinese culture,” Koay told reporters during the Chang Festival and Fathers Day event in Taman Tun Sardon, Penang.
The recent event was organised by the Bukit Gelugor MCA division with support from the Wanita wing and the Taman Gembira MCA branch.
Some 1,500 dumplings were given out to about 220 families in the area.
Businessman Hee Cheap Fong, 48, said it was nice that Fathers Day last Sunday and the Chang Festival tomorrow fall within the same month.
“Usually, my family would make our own dumplings but this year, we could not do so due to our busy schedule,’’ he said.
His daughter Hee Jing Xi, nine, said her favourite dumpling is the kee chang.
The kee chang is yellow because it is prepared with lye water (aqueous sodium carbonate) and is normally consumed with sweet bean paste or light syrup.
Also present at the event were Bukit Gelugor MCA division deputy chief Loh Nam Hooi and Air Itam Barisan coordinator Jackson Teoh.