Friday, April 03, 2009

Ching Ming Announcement and Thoughts of Sungei Merah

(Source : a 2007 Ching Ming announcement - San Francisco Gin Sun Association)

This is from a newspaper in San Francisco.

Overseas Chinese and most Malaysian Chinese Associations take care of the members from cradle to the grave. It is heartening that they take good care of all especially those who need hired transport for special occasions.

And this is a good example of how an association can step in to help members with good organisation.

The notice says a bus will be ready to transport members to pay their respects to their dearly departed.

This brings to mind many decades ago when Sibu-Sungei Merah Road or Queensway was so congested that many of my uncles and aunties from Sg. Maaw waslked all the three or four miles from the town to the Methodist cemetery in Sungei Merah so that they could pay respects to our late Grandfather Chui Chui and our late Granduncle Moh Moh and others as early as six in the morning so that that they visit all the graves of their dearly departed before it was noon. They would bring along hard brooms and water to give the graves an annual clean up. Flowers were not in style and fashion then. The crowd was almost shoulder to shoulder.

Sungei Merah would spring to life for a few days with almost every shop selling Ching Ming related goods. And after Ching Ming the old slow life would once more take over. Today Sungei Merah is no longer that laid back. This is almost a vibrant suburb or even a new township! But you can still see some chickens tied onto the handle bar of a bicycle or a small pig tied across a Yamaha motorbike. You can still catch sight of two baskets tied to a pian dan.

As I think of so many of my uncles' offsprings having huge air conditioned cars ( no less than Mercedes and some with drivers) perhaps it is their elders' filial piety which has brought them their wealth and success!! Or rather opportunities?

2 memories:

justin said...

What I learned from South China is that rituals are important in Chinese culture especially when they have lived in the same place for many generations. If they move to Beijing for example they will still make the one annual trip for Spring festival.
I saw the CCTV footage on the 5.12 quake victims' Tomb Sweeping. My heart is broken too especially when I watch the chiildren crying for their mother.
Sungei Merah I suppose is a Tomb related town? It must be unique then. Nothing like it in Malaysia?Knowing you - what are your thoughts about re-branding it?

sarawakiana said...

Thanks for your comments about CCTV footage of the Sichuan earthquake. I am really sad for the victims' family. Some do not even have tombs to visit.

Nope I have not thought about rebranding of Sg. Merah.


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