I have millions of money, gold, jade, credit cards, pearls and more. Wanna rob me?

It is the season of giving and receiving once again. Right now, my house has millions of golds and silver, jade and pearls, credit cards, wooden clogs and more. Then, there are bags of money.

chinese graveyard offerings for the dead

Each year, they get more and more creative. First they make bicycles, now they make cars. But with petrol price increasing, they decided it is cheaper to own a petrol station. So, they make petrol station. Why don’t they just make a whole globe and offer to their ancestors, huh?

Last time, they have the traditional white powder. Now, they have botox injection for your grandmas. LOL. Ok, maybe no botox but there is SKII for grandma.

lingerie for the dead

Hades can be pretty boring if you don’t have something kinky to strut around to tempt the hamsap gwais who are probably crowding around in hell. (Hamsap gwais – lusty ghosts). So, they make lingeries. This year, I saw on shop selling a pink and white layer evening gown.

paper clothes for deceased chidren

I stopped the Ching Ming tradition the day my fourth son died. Yet, there are paper clothes, paper shoes, paper chocolates, paper milk bottles, paper toys for those who still believe in burning them for their deceased children. Oh well, to each his/her own. I’d rather release whatever control I have over my child and let God takes care of the rest. (read Kenapa kaum Cina sembah kubur)

This evening, I was at the Pulau Tikus market and saw them selling the different kuehs meant to be offered to the deceased. Now, they are more enterprising and they packed everything into boxes. So, people can afford to get lazier and lazier. Just buy some, chuck them to the tombstone and the duty is done. Personally, I don’t care anymore.

This comes from someone who used to co-ordinate the offerings for five graves each year. Counting the number of kuehs and fruits for the tua pek kong, thor tay kong, the ah kong, ah mah, ah pek, fil and mil are enough to give me white hairs. Then, there is the cooking of five dishes. Not forgetting the roasted pig. Or the red paper, white paper, yellow papers. Then, the correct fashion for the grandparents-in-law, uncle-in-law who died a bachelor and my parents-in-law.

burning paper effigies for the netherworld

Ah well, they have to go on diet now. Hubby used to buy the chicken and duck for prayers. Then, he got lazier and offers fruits and kuehs only. My children and I still tag along with him to the various graveyards (did I tell you they are located all over Penang graveyards?) if my sils didn’t go cuckoo with the time.

Talking about sils, now that they are much older, they have stopped bugging this Christian daughter-in-law already. I used to get very pissed when they kept calling to order to buy this food, that food and etc. Imagine four of them, with their endless requests? Plus they wanted to fit in their schedules (with their own in-laws) and usually demanded my hubby prayers a hell lot earlier when the whole graveyard was deserted and full of lallang. One year, my poor kids and I were practically in a jungle!

Cheng Beng real day is on April 5th this year. One can start prayer 10 days before and 10 days after. This year, due to hubby’s work, he is only going on the 5th of April, the real day. No more dictated by the bunch of four sils who want the best of both worlds, pray their own inlaws and their parents. You free you come, you no free, never mind lah.

god of the earth
(This is thor tay kong or the god who takes care of the earth, as in the tanah, not the world. So, we must give him something to eat and drink first before he allows the dead to get out of their grave to eat the foods.)

My mom-in-law bequeathed these praying duties to me. She once told me, “Don’t bother about the daughters. They pray or not, not important. But sons must not fail to do so.” Well, I did carry out the prayers faithfully. Until my own son died and suddenly, death means nothing to me. Then, before I was baptised as a Christian, I did feel bad for failing her and sending out all the ancestors tablets out of my home. But then, one doesn’t need to actually show these sort of filial duties to be filial.

chinese grave offerings -ching ming

I guess one is filial as long as they remember the deceased. What good is it for children to go to their ancestors graveyards once a year and then, start offering huat kueh to huat chai, ang koo to beh hooi khoo (rhymes – huat kueh is a kind of cake, huat chai is prosperity, angkoo is another kueh, hooi khoo is buy estate). Ong lai for the prosperity to come?

Chinese graves
(if you see graves being sealed with cement like the above, it means the deceased died of leprosy. They were lepers and the cement is to prevent infection from them.)

Sometimes, I wonder. When my own husband (he has three older brothers, btw) is too old to carry out these duties, will I be able to get my Christian sons to climb the hill, cangkul the lallang and place some flowers there? Maybe…..but then, I already told them to throw my ashes into the sea and don’t bother with visiting my grave. Just make me an online altar. Muahahar.

Come to think of it, if there is an award for ‘people who is most unlikely to become a Christian’, I would win it. But things happened the way God intended and God knows best.

19 thoughts on “I have millions of money, gold, jade, credit cards, pearls and more. Wanna rob me?

  1. i spotted the brand name of Kanebo’s sister company in your picture called Kanilu. I think that they should spell ” Kanehlu “, rite?

  2. Wow!! So keng-ar?

    Being born into a Christian family, this tradition is lost to us. So, I only hear about this tradition from my non-Christian friends. My friend still pantang buying handphone and airplane ticket for her grandma. Scared that she will call or visit wor…

    Angie Tan´s last blog post..Sure Delicious Pasta @ Sure Pizza

  3. Lilian, I also requested for my ashes to be thrown into the sea. I want to swim with the sharks!

    Aiyoh, all the buy buy buy, then burn burn burn …… I sakit hati to see my money burn away like that. I’d rather use it for a good gathering/meal and reminisce about all whom I know who had passed away.

    Better to take care of those who are still alive.Let them ‘eat, drink and make merry’ because all the stuff that we burn for them and the food that we offer later ain’t gonna do them any good!Actually I believe, if the dead could really partake of all the stuff, no one would offer them.

    Ps: I also noticed the Kanilu brand and the Hazeline snow that my mom use to love.The bra got size one or not?

  4. momo – Somemore my sils hor, they pack two boxes, one from the sons and one from the daughters. Got write the name and date we Ching Ming. She reminded my hubby, make sure must Ching Ming on the date they had written on the box, or else, customs and immigrations or maybe the DHL in hades lost them. I no eye see, sit quietly and grinned. Last time they even go to their great grandparents, way up on the hill. I went once, no more ledi. Don’t want to die of snake bite. Wutudo….my sil opens joss-stick shops, selling these things.

  5. Mindy – No, they used to burn bicycle. So, my hubby said why not get a car and a chauffeur instead? Upgrade a bit mah…Tak kan naik basikal when we can afford a fleet of Marsili or even Ferrari mah, right?

  6. hahaha… online altar… very good idea… just load the page, for those who pray.. then pray.. those with incense… just burn incense with any offering in front of the screen.. haha

    Linda´s last blog post..Zihan @ 8 months

  7. u didnt burn a laptop with a wireless router? apalah!! but then who’s gonna provide the broadband service? the sky god? he got license?
    CMing is more fun for the young generation, it’s the Chinese tradition, like many, its’ meaning has been diluted by all the unnecessary man made materials.
    wah, how much is tht roast pig? can give a bit ah?

    JT´s last blog post..Fish tank update

  8. Burn car w/ driver tim. Later midnite they honk honk visit yr hubby..choi choi choi 🙂

  9. Lilian, your honesty is priceless! I’m with you on scattering the ashes in the ocean. Told my hubby (who is a keen fisherman) that he can ‘catch’ me again in a different form. Save money on graves too.. very expensive here in Sydney.

    Charming´s last blog post..Asian Food Gallery

  10. It breaks my heart to see those paper effigy for children with Mickey mouse print. I feel sad for those who perished in their young age before they get to enjoy life. Same for those fetus gotten ridded of during abortion, did the Chinese actually offer prayers and tribute to those children, is the special ceremony for those fetus and infants? May their soul rest in peace! It’s a good gesture and tradition for the young generation, unlike here in America, where deceased were long forgotten after a year or two, the young generation no longer care for the tradition!

  11. well, i find it rather odd on the idea that ‘the other world’ have whatever we have here in the living world. wonder who started the idea? must be some smart paper replicas’ businessman. just wonder if they have the ‘ai fon cap epal’ launched in hell recently boh? and since now the world in recession, down there also recession? hahaha.

    BlurryLeo´s last blog post..Light in The Darkness for Earth Hour 2009

  12. kadusmama – Yalar, tension betul, mati ledi summore must be brand conscious. I thought all grow wings and wear white robe only mah? Now they already have treadmill to exercise, osim massage chair and etc. I am all for being filial and visiting graves but when the material world and its material things are being embraced by these people who believe in the afterlife, I think they are being ridiculous lah. Next, they will export doctors, plastic surgeons and prostitutes for their relatives. Hahaha.

  13. ..continued – Cannot stop laughing at the thought of exporting prostitutes and gigolos for the dead. Cos they already exported turban pak guards and drivers mah.

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