Exploring the Origins of Chinese Cuisine: How Ancient Traditions Evolved into Modern Dishes
This weekend marks the beginning of celebrations to mark the Lunar New Year. For thousands of Asians as well as diaspora individuals across the globe This marks the closing of the Zodiac Year of the Tiger. Also, it ushers in the Year of the Rabbit or Cat (if you reside or are from Vietnam). During the initial few days there is a lot of commercial activity that can be restricted or suspended as people gather with their family members. Most Chinese who have migrated to China see this holiday as their last chance to visit their home country for the remainder of the year. The roots of this holiday lie in the past and encourage the family unit.
Being a Chinese-Malaysian Lunar New Year is an occasion that embodies the passing of Chinese customs to the next generation, declares Daniel Lee Lih Wei, aged 58, a resident of Klang who is in a leadership role in the research department within Sunway University, Kuala Lumpur. He explains that he wants the children of his family to be able to comprehend and appreciate the many cultures as well as the rich heritage that we possess and how they can bring this into their own lives. “It is all about giving them that visibility and the reminiscences that I used to have about food, family, reflection, and thinking about the future.
Lee Lih Wei is a reminder of his childhood insists that his kids, who are aged between four and one, should be pursuing the same goal. They want to play with firecrackers , enjoy cookies and enjoy traditional lion dances. These elaborate shows, dressed in vibrant costumes, are commonplace across the nation during the season leading up to the onset of the new year, believed to bring good fortune and prosperity. To completely immerse himself as well as his family in the festivities, Lee Lih Wei has opted to take an entire week off from work, the entire family putting on the same shades of red when they gather with relatives over the span of two days.
Wen Xu couldn’t return home to her Anhui hometown in the past because of Covid limitations. The -year old is now capable of traveling from Hong Kong where she moved into the field of journalism. This would not have been an option just two months ago, but due to China’s government ceasing its zero-Covid policy in December, Xu can now join the hundreds of millions of individuals embarking on trips to China for Lunar New Year. Lee Lih Wei attests that modernisation has led to his wife’s family being visited at lunch and then the family of his own to eat dinner.
Xu had to hold back her excitementwhen she was able to return to her home. She told us that, for New Year’s Eve, her uncle, aunt and cousin will be coming from a town nearby to meet them for a celebration and visit as they take part in the family tradition of a meal consisting of sautéed pork served with rice flour as well as bone broth. The week was planned to be one of leisurely events, which included studying new books, and meeting the latest news with her cousin that had just returned from Canada. Additionally, Xu intended to record her mother’s cooking while she made the traditional Chinese diet, known as the ejiao. After growing up with each other, Xu and her cousin are eagerly awaiting the reunion.
The past Year of the Tiger was successful for Xu, professionally; yet not so much relationally. To celebrate New Year’s Eve, Lunar New Year, Xu and her cousin reunited to share a typical meal and raced upstairs together to count the money in the red envelopes presented by the elderly relatives of theirs in the form of traditional gifts. Still, they receive red envelopes money, even though they are both old. Xu claims that she is experiencing an emotion of sorrow this year because her grandfather whom she has named Covid-, must be separated from the rest of his family and is prevented of having the chance to dine with the two at dinner. The hope she has is that next year will present her with the chance to begin a new relationship.
The time was filled with excursions down memory lane, and discussions about the future of Xu along with her family. The flu epidemic did not deter them from enjoying their customary reunion with their family. This year’s new year provided them with a chance to remember the old times while looking ahead to the future. The traditional dinner consisting of bone broth and rice flour served as a reminder of the culinary tradition while Xu’s idea to record her mother made it possible to keep the important aspect of their cultural heritage for generations to come. The end result was that this was a time of joy that stemmed from connecting with family and friends, regardless of the external circumstances.