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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Our Reunion Dinner Tradition


Apart from our casual get-together for dinner, we make it a point as a family, to meet with our elders and siblings for meals during important occasions. There is certainly no exception when it comes to the reunion dinner during Chinese New Year's eve, as we gather to usher in the new year together, for happiness and prosperity for every member of the family. It is the simplest form of family tradition that I personally cherish and hope to instill this importance to my children, so that they learn the values that has been passed down from generation to generations.What makes our reunion dinner more joyous is having the extended family (aunts, uncles and cousins) join us for this important dinner at the home shared by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It certainly makes a good celebratory atmosphere!

Food is, no doubt, an integral part in our Chinese new year celebrations. A s I am married into a traditional Cantonese family, the home cooked food that is prepared during reunion dinner are often "auspicious" dishes. Here are some of the significant dishes we had.

 "Yu Sheng" or raw fish salad. In Cantonese, they would call it "lao yu sang". This dish, represented by the above Chinese phrase, "feng sheng shui qi", brings forth success, prosperity and vitality towards the family, the whole year through. The higher you toss, the better it gets!

In Cantonese, prawns are pronounced as "har". So it is very apt that the above phrase "ha ha da xiao", brings forth laughter and joy for the family throughout the year.

"Fatt Choy" - or prosperity, as the black moss seaweed is called. It is usually braised with dried oysters with black mushrooms, however, the one you see here is with sea cucumber, which is pronounced as "hoi sum" in Cantonese, meaning "happiness". You would be able to guess the significance behind this dish - yes! It is for all to have wealth and happiness throughout the year!
A snap shot of our extended family, tossing "yu sheng" at my mother-in-law's home!
What does reunion dinner means to you?

Watch this heartwarming video clip by the National Family Council (NFC), showing realistic stories and thoughts about what some Singaporeans think about reunion dinners.  Through this video, NFC hopes to encourage everyone to reflect on the significance of family reunions and spend more time with our loved ones, creating memories and building stronger bonds.

With the reunion theme in mind, the National Family Council is organizing contests in relation to Chinese New Year reunion dinners and the significance it has for different people. Share your thoughts at their facebook page and stand to win attractive prizes!

  From our family to yours, we wish you :
"家和万事兴 (jia he wan shi xing)
Meaning : A harmonious family will prosper.
 And may all blessings be upon you and your family throughout the year of the horse.
Till the next post, have a blessed week!

Disclaimer : The Accidental Mom Blogger was invited to share the objective of the National Family Council. My family and I support it's vision to foster stronger family ties in Singapore.  A token of appreciation was presented to us for writing this post. 

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