The “Monkey” scrambled off quickly. And the “Rooster” fluttered in.
Geomancists and Feng Tsui experts, like Joey Yap announced 2017 would be a good year.
My wife, Mary, was amongst those feeling ecstatic that the Rooster year would be a good year for me. All because I am a “Rooster”.
Hopefully, she is right!
When talking about Chinese New Year, one should mention a few things – Chinese observance of prayers to our ancestors and forefathers on New Year’s Eve and also the New Year’s Eve Reunion Dinner, which all Chinese observe.
My family, consisting of 3 brothers and one sister, maybe small, but I’m proud to proclaim “we” do hold our CNY reunion dinner faithfully every year.
I’ve heard numerous stories of families, bigger, larger and more well to do ones which quarrel and squabble over the question of holding this auspicious and meaningful event.
My family, should rightly thank our Siamese aunty, the former Mrs. Lim of Teluk Pulai, Klang.
It was the above wise old lady that gave us her maternal advice.
While carrying our late father ashes on a launch into the stormy seas of the Straits of Malacca one bright morning, some 25 years ago, the above mentioned lady told me and my brothers, “You have lost your father, now it’s up to you all to keep your families together.”
Those words have remained entrenched in us ever since.
A decision was reached amongst our brothers, my eldest brother B.H. Yap and younger brother, B.K. Yap and myself that upon father’s demise in 1987, that no matter what , we would hold our Chinese New Year dinner at one of my sibling’s home without fail every year.
And so, as it came to past, this year’s “Year of the Rooster” reunion dinner was held at my house located in Jalan Meru, Klang.
The Yap family, consisting of my sister Molly, and her husband Mr Ooi, her children, my brother’s family and their daughters-in-law and spouses, numerous grandchildren, congregated by 7:00 pm on the 28th of January 2017 for the Yap family Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner.
First of all, let it be known to readers that the event was a simple pot luck affair with all participating brothers and sister contributing one or two dishes to the function.
Speaking a little bit more about this particular dinner, we might not have a roasted pig and expensive fish and prawns, but what we laid out at our reunion dinner table were basically what we Peranakan folks fancy to eat.
There was mee goreng, our favourite dish. There was of course roasted pork meat too. My last sister-in-law prepared steamed fish with salted vegetables, a favourite amongst our family members.
Acars or pickles made by my younger sister was a mouth watering preparation available. Prawn sambal curry with pineapples stood up amongst the other dishes that night. Salted egg omelette made again by my sister was yet another mouth watering dinner dish.
Although the reunion dinner just took place days ago, to tell you the truth, I am in fact forgotten much of the dishes that we laid out that night.
With cold drinks and iced longan, believe me, the 20 or so people that attended the reunion dinner had a joyful and enjoyable time this Rooster new year.
All in all, our reunion dinner lasted until around 10:30 pm that night. Cousins, brothers and sister, their spouses, their many children and smaller grandchildren such as Erne and her sister Jane, ate up until their heart’s content.
For the first time, this Rooster year ended up with the taking of a group photograph where all members of the Yap family, totaling more than 20 members partook. The photograph taken will serve as a remembrance to us all in the years to come!
The entire Yap Family
The Yap Seniors
The Yap second and third generation
One more thing before I forget is that this year reunion dinner is special as my youngest daughter Lin, who has been away for quite a while working in Qatar, the Middle East, is back home to be with us. As parents, my wife and myself feel very happy that she can make it back home this time around.
For her, I believe, she will be capable of tasting all the home cooked dishes such as asam pedas, steamed fish, her mother’s friend Hokkien mee, salted egg omelette and other dishes which she has been missing since the last few years.
My verdict regarding this year 2017 Chinese New Year reunion dinner was a real success in my opinion. Next year, our reunion dinner will be held at my younger brother’s house in Klang Utama.
My younger brother may only possesses a low cost house. Small, thought it may be his home will have to be ready to receive some 20 members of the Yap family next year.
At this moment of writing, I still do not know what animal follows this rooster year yet (*2018 is the year of the Dog).
Finally, my daughter Lin has not been able to achieve her dream of tasting Malaysian durian as yet. Though going back by Etihad Airways on the 3rd of February, she will have to be patient until April when she will be back again once more.
Happy Chinese New Year!