(That’s our bookshelf, all neatly arranged now! – The books are arranged by color, but of course you can’t tell right here.)
Hello there! How was your weekend?
I spent mine eating and laughing and eating some more. Oh, that and carrying my baby nephew.
It was Family Weekend, with a racuous, food-filled housewarming party – ham, sausages, shortribs, salad, pesto & bread… and that was just the mains.
But first, in the afternoon, we picked up the divine, delectable Lana cakes for the “Guo Da Li” the next day. (I’ll explain what “Guo Da Li” is in a minute.)
The chocolate cakes are ohmygod-good.
I was loving the floor tiles outside the shop.
So, today, we had our “Guo Da Li” ritual, which translates to “Passing Over Great Gifts”, during which the groom’s family brings gifts to the bride’s family, and the bride then follows the groom back to his place bringing with her certain living essentials – a new set of bowls, chopsticks, spoons for the newlyweds, her pillow, a set of bedside lights, and her bridal dowry. It basically marks the start of planning for a life together, and the acceptance of the marriage by both families involved.
I didn’t manage to get photos at my house, but when we returned to M’s place I caught a couple shots – here is my bridal dowry box, in a delightfully kitschy gold and red, sitting atop the Lana cake box. (Which we devoured in no time, by the way.) The two bottles of cherry soda are the ‘return’ gift from my family to M’s – they are meant to gift it as a symbol of sweetness and thanks, and perhaps as a blessing of the marriage.
All in all, it was quite the experience… It was great to see both families celebrating, and I felt a sense of reverence for this tradition – but at the same time, I also had a sense of ambivalence towards it. It felt very irrelevant and remote from my lifestyle and beliefs, and yet I also respected that such rituals were a time-honoured, tangible way for families to cement blessings and honor momentous occasions together.
It was also an epiphany because it’s apparent how little I (and my generation, probably) know of these traditions… and how much we have to learn. The weight of cultural continuity sits on our shoulders! :)
Back to work tomorrow, fingers crossed for a great week!