1 Earth, 60 minutes, 1 5xmom, 24 hours

I am just thinking of corny titles for the corny Earth Hour event I just attended. Actually, I have no plans to go but since dinner with the in-laws was over before 9 pm, we headed to Esplanade to catch what’s left of Earth Hour 2010.

Let me write down what I had done today, just in case I need to refer back next year.

6.20 am – Woke up, got ready to go for Cheng Beng. All my children were sleeping so soundly so hubby and I didn’t have the heart to wake them, especially the two younger ones whom had to wake up Monday to Friday for school at 6.45 am.

6.30 am – We decided to go for the first grave Cheng Beng without them. After all, why drag them in the darkness, moist hill, with broken glasses and sharp thorns and fireants infested graveyard? Oh, there are cow dungs as well. It is my hubby’s paternal grandparents.

7 am – We go to the grave after getting the roasted pork, duck, fruits and kuehs from Pulau Tikus market. I didn’t forget my annual bunch of flowers for my mother-in-law. After all, how many daughter-in-law like me get gifts from the MILs? (she used to buy me gold jewelery, batik nightdress *horrors* with her hard earned money cos I am such a good DIL, you know?) But I purposely buy orchids and carnations (flowers I considered ‘western’ though the uncle selling flower recommended to me chrysanthemum because he said keok-hwa, pai liao, keat (the flower name rhymes with solid (fortune).

Ding dong ding dong, my SILs arrived late so I had the whole morning to walk up the graveyard to video and take photos. I notice there is one Hindu temple standing precariously on hillslopes…(The CJ in me have eyes for things like these, you know?)

(the brown thing is the attap covering the temple which is being decorated)

7.45 am – SILs only arrived. Come only, bising lah. Asked me why my sons are not there. Later on, I told my sons their aunties asked why they are not there. One said, You asked her back lor, where are all her grown up children and grandchildren. This stupid question had bugged me for decades cos even when I have tiny babies, they would expect me to bring them, bring the whole meals, tea and all (before I was converted). P/S : I boh song ledi, I purposely don’t even want to participate in their prayers.


8.20 am – Done with the grave, we rushed back to fetch the children. Before that, I had to phone the older ones to wake the younger ones and get ready. The graveyard is just at Gottlieb Road, short distance from home.

Bla bla bla, we went to hubby’s bachelor uncle grave in Sepuloh Kongsi. He is my father-in-law older brother so we had to pray to him first (talking as the other faith, I don’t pray one).

Then, more rush to Relau. Well, at my PIL’s grave, I usually let the in-laws and hubby pray all they want. Then, I will gracefully sail in (hehehe) and burn 5 joss-sticks and place my bunch of flowers. Someone said from my back, “Eh, must pray 2 joss-sticks each, take 10” I buat tak tau, pekak, I didn’t hear. My heart was saying, “Awww.come on…gimme a break….you know I am a Christian, I don’t have to do this. But I will do it because that’s my mother-in-law in there and I am only asking my God to bless her and everyone else. The joss-stick is just an outward action to satisfy myself.”


I told my boys, take one and go put inside. I too did not ‘pai pai’ but just put in the joss-sticks. Said out load, “Let’s ask Lord Jesus to bless ah kong, ah mah, Amen!”

Got home at almost 1 pm because we went to have lunch after that.

3 pm – Cathecism class

5.30 pm – class ended

7 pm – Dinner with the in-laws

9 pm – Earth Hour at Esplanade

12 midnight – Wah piang, pengsan…So tired.


11 thoughts on “1 Earth, 60 minutes, 1 5xmom, 24 hours

  1. Out of curuiousity ha… Im having this problem… my future in-laws (not yet married to him.. but soon i hope! ) they are like traditional straight out buddhist.. and they kinda hate christians bcos they have heard alot of stories from their whoever relatives that… example: their nieces n nephews converted into christian and when the parents passed away, they refused to even pai pai them with joss sticks cause they say holding joss sticks in wrong cause they are not buddhist anymore… refuse to hold joss stick for the sake of their own parents! So hior, my in-laws dont like christians or their children have christian partners cause they are afraid next time their kids dont pray to them when they die… =_=” .. and me on the other hand, im brought up with the influence of christianity but have not been baptised yet cause im planning to only do it after i have a stable married life… and i’d do anything to respect the elders wan..

    Now since i met the right guy hior, but he is a buddhist.. i feel kinda in dilemma… My bf dont mind me go baptise.. but if the in-laws find out, confirm kena ‘tua ki’ adi.. We r pretty sure cause there was once somehow his parents suspect im a christian.. and asked my bf.. “Is Jane a Christian? I hope not ha.. dont disappoint us!” So yeah… kinda damn… dunno wat to do now…

    Just wondering, why most Christian have the wrong perception that… Once they are Christian, they cannot hold joss stick anymore? I got some christian friends are like that… hold joss stick to pray means so sinful n wrong adi.. even for praying to ancestors purposes… My thinking is, I wouldnt mind holding joss stick for the sake of praying our ancestors.. Cause its out of respect for the elders… But if hold joss stick to ‘pai thi kong’ or like their buddhist Gods are not allowed la… This is suppose to be a more correct way right? How huh?

  2. Wuah, Jane, long long explanation lor. You see, I don’t mind doing it but I am not praying wor. It is just an action of honouring the person. But then, I am a Catholic and we do use incense in our big celebrations. However, other denominations of Christians will probably not do it because it may gives people the impression that they are praying the ancestors. Christians do not pray to any other thing except God Himself.

    St. Paul said if our action may cause others to stumble, then, we should avoid it. For eg. by our action of pai-pai, people may think that it is alright to pai-pai natuk kong wateva. So, this is considered as causing people to stumble (i.e. to continue worshipping ‘things’).

    So, whether I decided to burn that joss-sticks or not depend on my mood cos if I think it will give my in-laws the impression that I am still praying and asking for my mother-in-law blessings, then, I wont do it. You see hor, they will pai for their kids lah, their grandkids lah, etc. Like asking the mother to go do her job of watching over them. In Christianity, Jesus Christ is the one and only solution.

    At the end of the day, it is our action that speaks the loudest. For eg when one of my sil’s hubby was dying, both hubby and I spent our days and night running around him, I cook for him etc etc. Meanwhile, all those who are so clever to pai here pai there are the ones who disappeared bcos some parts they considered suey, so they never show up. See?

    As for your choice of religion, I think it is best you draw the lines before anything bcos once the in-laws get the upper hand, they will dictate how you pray, how you jaga your baby, how you spend your husband money etc etc. It is a matter of respect for each other. Otherwise, life is hellish when we are the one who always give in.

  3. thank you very much lilian… it helped alot… i think i will only have the guts to talk about my religion with my in-laws after im married into the family.. for now, i will do wats best and wat i usually do.. such as pray for their ancestors, its ok… if they are going to start praying other stuff, i’ll just pretend to be busy with other stuff… =)

  4. The previous Chief Buddhist priest wrote in a book saying that many of us are more concerned as to what happens when we die rather than be more concern with what good we can do when we are alive. That’s is when the conflicts start with the inlaws and outlaws when the religious beliefs differs.

  5. looking through the earth hour photo, its ironic that the candles are all lighted in plastic cup.

  6. Dear Lilian, if your mil did not accept Jesus before death, she is not with Jesus today. Pls don’t bombard me,I just want you to know the biblical truth cos you are so enthusiatic for Jesus Christ.
    If she has, you needn’t pray for God to bless her. There is no need.
    Nothing is in the grave Lilian, just dust (and bones perhaps). Your mil is not there.

    @Jane, don’t compromise. In Revelations, the Lord vomits out the “lukewarm” . If your love for Christ is not strong enough for you to make a stand for your God, better marry yet. Praying ancestors is not something our Lord accepts and life will not be as blessed when you allow such things. You might want to consider seriously that the bible says do not be unequally yoke (with another) – though I know in matters of the heart, it is so hard 🙂

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