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Archive for January 15th, 2008

The annual ‘Ching Ming’ observance

During Ching Ming the Chinese clean up the grave site of their ancestors. At the Chua Chu Kang cemetary, you will see people burning joss paper, offering food, etc at the graves of their ancestors. Generally, the Chinese people doing these rituals are ‘traditional worshippers’. The
Christians among the Chinese do not offer food and joss paper but usually place a bunch of flowers at the grave of their ancestors.

Here’s a little story about the differences in religious beliefs that may interest you.

Two young Chinese men, strangers to each other, are offering prayers at two adjacent gravesites. One young man, a traditional worshipper, had made an offering of roast meat, steamed dumplings and wine at the gravesite. The other young man, a Christian, placed a bunch of flowers at his ancestor’s tombstone.

Looking at the food offerings that his ‘traditional’ neighbourhad brought, the Christian man decided to make a statement about religious practices.

Christian man: I say! When do you think your ancestor will come up to enjoy all these delicious foods that you have brought?

Traditional man: I don’t know. But, if you must have an answer, I would say my ancestor will enjoy these foods at the same time your ancestor
comes up to smell your flowers.

Re-trievia recalled: Excerpts from Year 2003/ 2004
Tan Wee Kiat

Written by Ivan Chew

15 January, 2008 at 1:37 am

Posted in Year 2003/ 2004