Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knocked on the door...

This morning around 5:30am, there was a knocked on my door. I thought i was dreaming when i heard it. After the third knocked and my name was called, then i realise, i was not was knocking on my door.

When i open the door, he asked me whether i wanted to go visit grandma...its 'Ching Ming', 'old souls day' for Chinese.

[ Its where people go to their family members (those who had passed on) cemetery to pay respect. Its a yearly thing (my second one though), real date is on the 4th of April, normally it is on the 5th. This year it is on the 5th because of the extra day in the month of February.]

I forgot what i said, (i think i replied ok in my sleepiness) went and get ready.

Met up with my uncle (dad's older bro) at around 6am, off we went to the cemetery with (Hell money, jost sticks, food, paper clothings, shoes, slippers) to burn for my grand ma and uncle.

As we reached the place, the road was packed. Last year had bad experience in trying to leave the place, so we park a bit further from the area and walked in with the things. Due to my sleepiness, forgot to bring my camera but then again, may not be nice in taking pictures.

We went to my uncle's first. He passed on in 2001, had an accident in timber camp and at that time also found out, he had lung cancer (due to smorking)....never fully recover from the accident.

My uncle is a pro in handling the rituals,(i am a Christian). I do not burn the jost stick. Just help to burn the 'money' (do u know they even have it in US$, 1 piece is 10 million USD). We burn a lot of pieces...:)

Smoke was bad, cause many people did the same thing. And this year some of them even burned fire crackers. After about 1 hour plus of burning the stuffs....we headed to my grandma's.

She passed on in the year 1993...she have had a good life.
She spent most of her later life in Singpore. Visited Europe once. Visited China a few times. One thing she always do to her grandchildren (me included), is to 'bite' our cheeks...especially when young, got chubby face...haha.

After uncle's place, we went to grandma's. Hers need more clearing up, cause got grass and weeds. Dad and i pulled the weeds while uncle did the ritual.

We finish there about 8:40am, then headed to my grand dad's. His is at different area...he became a christian before he passed on. Dad had function to go to at 9:30am, so we went there burn candles and uncle put some food for offering (normally for Christian, no food offering, but my uncle not a christian and he loves his dad) had a quick prayer and off we go, left uncle dad to sort it out, while me and dad went home to shower and change (we went in one car). After that i went back to pick up my uncle and went for breakfast.

I do not know much about my granddad, he passed on when i was only a no recollection of him.

One thing sad about this chinese custom, daughters (those who are married) are not allow to visit their parent's grave. I find it sad. Cause i know my dad's sis (my aunty) whould have love to come.

I don;t know..i think Christians and westerners does not have this belief (i may be wrong).

May all of u have a blessed weekend.



Daphne Ling said...

Hey NightWing,

Seriously? Daughters are not allowed to go? Why?

In Hindu tradition (according to my friend), daughters cannot attend their mother's cremation...

I don't know how true it is, but that's what my friend told me...

winniethepooh said...

when im back home, every year we used to do this too (visit the graves of our loved ones) during ching ming. In fact, my parents, uncles and my aunties (married daughters) will all visit the grave of my grandfather. Never heard of married daughters not allow to go and pay respect to their parents

Nightwing said...

Hi Daphne,

Well...according to people, daughters who wre married are no longer 'part of the family' cause they will be using their husband's family name.

Nightwing said...

Hi Winnie,

How are you? Thanks for dropping by.

Yalor, i agree with you. Like i said i am sure my aunty would have love to come with us. But eldest uncle (i think) has said no (long time ago).

Cat Cat said...

When I was a kid, I used to look forward to Ching Ming... Visit grandparent's grave and had picnic there... We would stay for hours coz we had lots of graves to visit... Haven't been to Ching Ming for over a decade now..

Nightwing said...

Hi Cat,

Ya...i think it is also the time for families to get together (outside CNY) and it becomes like a family outing.

I noticed that yesterday, when some families came out in full force.

Zawi said...

Thank you for writing something about your customs or religious rituals. It will be a good way for others to know and respect each other. Keep on writing, I really appreciate it.

Nightwing said...

Helo Pak Zawi,

Thank you for dropping in and your kind comments.

I agree with you, it goes both ways too, we learn and respect one another.

You have a great week ahead now.

Sue said...

Really ah daughter's cannot go..I didn't know that..

Sweetiepie said...

Really???daughters are not allow to visit their parent's grave??Never heard eh!I find it sad too. Why is that so?

Nightwing said...

Hi Sue,

Ya...i also learned about it during last year's 'Ching Ming'. But maybe different families/dialect have different set of rules.

Nightwing said...

Hi Sweetiepie, is kind of sad.

Well...according to what they say, the married daughters are 'no longer' part of the family....cause they have 'married out' and follow another family name.

This the gist of it. is kind of sad.

Theres one next to my grandma, daughters never visited. So kinda sad.

But for those who practise christianity i do not think they follow this rule.

Monica said...

Hi Nightwing,
How could they say the married daughters are 'no longer' part of the family? Anyway, Christians do not have this belief.

Nightwing said...

Hi Monica,

Welcome to my crib. not know why...we celebrate together on all occassions...but when it comes to 'ching ming' aunty can;t visit grandma.

Sad indeed.