Blessed Chinese New Year – the swan-way



The United Chinese Association here designed this red packet to be given to friends and associates this year to wish them Happy Chinese New Year, the swan-way.

Sibu is called the “swan city”. The second picture is one of the “swans” finding a place in front of Li Hua Hotel at Jalan Esplanade.

My knowledge of swan starts with the old bedtime story, the Ugly Duckling.

Remember the first time the Ugly Duckling saw a flock of swans? He had spent his whole life as an ugly duckling, the world convinced him, that he was the ugly one. Then, one cold autumn evening, he saw a whole flock of graceful white birds flying south to warmer lands. As he watched them in the sky, the ugly duckling was gripped with a strange joy. He did not know what these majestic birds were, but he loved them more than he had ever loved any other things.

He did not know that the swan’s beauty spoke of him, of his true self, of his true identity. But he was one of them. He was destined to be that beautiful!

Why don’t we all muster the courage to join the swans and discover that we are a swan from the start?

There are many other lessons we can learn from the “swan”. I did a search of the “swan” and found the following facts about swan and what we can learn –

Graceful – Swan is a graceful bird. Be graceful too.

There are few major types of swans:

Mute swan – This swan is more quiet than other swans. Be a “mute swan” when people gossip. Sibu has been named as a “gossip town”. Make it a town free of gossips.

Whistling swan – whistle when you are happy, it will bring some joy to other people.

Trumpeter swan – rejoice over the many uniqueness of the town, the people, the food, the gardens, the cleanliness …

Faithful – When they are 2 or 3 years old, swans choose mates during highly vocal courtship displays. In one such display, called the Triumph ceremony, the male and female face each other, raise their wing, and call loudly. Mated swans usually stay together for life. – stay together with our mate for life, like the swans do.

Protective – The female usually lays four to six whitish eggs. Among most swans, only the female sits on the eggs to keep them warm. But the male black swan share this duty with the female. The eggs must be warmed 30 to 35 days before they hatch. During this period, swans will attack foxes, dogs, people, and any other possible threats to their eggs. – always protects, always upholds like the female swans.

Family Ties – Swans have strong family ties. The young may remain with the parents until it is time to choose a mate – honour our parents, young ones. Even the swans do!

God has certainly blessed Sibu over the years. God blesses people so that the people might be a blessing to others. In other words, God blesses us not just that we would experience happiness, but so that many others might experience the same happiness of knowing the God who works in their lives.

It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.
-Proverbs 10:22



Missing from the reunion dinner table

reunion dinner

My mum-in-law is a great cook. This year she is early in preparing the reunion dinner. Yes, she has started preparing yesterday! It prompted me to reproduce this article.

Two years ago, I wrote –

This is the second reunion dinner that dad in law is missing. Dad in law passed away on 2nd October 2004. I recalled that dad in law would always had his special “Mee Hoon Soup” specially prepared for him only. Mum in law would never fail to cook a special bowl for him.

With dad in law missing from the reunion table, the special “Mee Hoon Soup” is also not prepared.

My mother would never miss her special “yam cake” for Chinese New Year. She made the cake and gave a portion to each of her children not staying with her. When she passed away on 18th June 2000, the special “yam cake” is no longer on our reunion dinner table.

Though life is to be lived forward, looking back will always give us many fond memories of the loved ones missing from the table, and those special food missing from the dinner menu.

Looking back, we remember the courage and the love of our loved ones. These loved ones will never come back to us. But, we shall go to them! One day, we shall feast together at Jesus’ feet. Then, it will be more than the “Mee Hoon Soup” and the “yam cake”.

I cooked ten perfect dishes plus another one for the reunion dinner. Fried prawns – the favourite of Rachel. Fried noodles – the favourite of Chris. Drunken chicken – the favourtie of the significant other… The eggs of peace – I like best. I have yet to find out the favourite of mum in law…. A long way to go to be a better daughter-in-law …..

Have a look at the photographs. Though not the best, it’s the thoughts that matters, and it’s labour of love!