Japanese living in Singapore learned about the customs and traditions surrounding this holiday.
Contributed By Lee Tat Haur
|PHOTO COURTESY OF KATE KOH|
On Feb. 1, 12 people from City Harvest’s Japanese fellowship organized an afternoon to learn about the significance of Chinese New Year. The members, mostly Japanese living in Singapore, were introduced to Chinese culture and customs surrounding this season. They also enjoyed a simple feast of traditional Chinese fare.
The event was held at the home of couple Koh Siow Ngea and Jaclyn Chong, who recounted in fascinating detail the history of Lunar New Year and the significance of various customs and dishes commonly associated with the holiday.
The guests asked a torrent of questions about the season, such as: “Why are pineapples used as ornaments during Chinese New Year?” and “Why is the word fu (prosperity) hung upside down?” It was an eye-opening experience for the group of people, most of whom were not familiar with this Chinese festival at all.
The highlight of this event was putting into practice what the group had learned earlier. They gathered excitedly around a circle table to lo hei. A delectable spread of Chinese food, including dim sum and Chinese tea.
Furumura Yo, a facial massage therapist, said, “It was very meaningful for me to learn about the Chinese New Year culture. I now understand more about the customs, ornaments and food which are part of all the Lunar New Year celebrations.”
For Matsumoto Eri, who relocated to Singapore with her husband six months ago, this was her first time at the Japanese Fellowship. She said, “I am glad to have this opportunity to learn all about Chinese New Year. More than that, I really enjoyed meeting new friends from Singapore.”
To find out more about the Japanese fellowship, e-mail Lee Tat Haur at email@example.com.