Monday, November 20, 2017
Love Thy Lanterns
Once in a while, Nalanda Buddhist Society would organize a pindacāra event at the OUG morning market. Several monks would be making their rounds collecting alms-food. As the alms bowl can only hold so much, volunteers trail the monks with carts. Bumped into an elderly couple from church, and they told us that they were waiting for their son to fetch them home. Since they had to wait for another couple of hours, we offered to send them home instead. A great opportunity to visit their new home in 16Sierra. Previously, they lived at Paragon Heights, and made the move to 16Sierra because their grandchildren were now studying at Rafflesia International School ($$$).
Quite a funny story really because when we arrived at their gorgeous semi-detached home, the old couple were unable to open the door! It used an electronic key, and even with all the beeps and whistles, we were unable to gain access. Loitered outside for about an hour before their son arrived to save the day. Actually there was no problem with the electronic lock. The elderly couple just didn't realize that there was a secondary lock. The home was very-well designed. All the doors are much taller than usual, and all the windows and doors are protected with security mesh. Wood and steel is the theme, with much use of hidden doors, and partitions.
In the evening, we had to help out at the church's Mid-Autumn Festival. We were one of the two people who helped our 'artistic director' set up the tong sui stall. The theme of the stall was "Reunion" where a replica of a family having reunion dinner was set up. We even had a fake moon overlooking the table. Other BECs and ministries also set up food stalls-- roast pork, kuih-muih, fishballs, radish cake, cotton candy, vadai, steamed chickpeas, etc. In addition to that, the church provided a buffet line for dinner. All hell broke loose when it was time to eat. Some famished folks tried to eat our table decorations, and the adjacent stall's decorative radishes were also filched!
Well, it wasn't only about food, there was also a cultural aspect to it. Artistic people could participate in the creative lantern contest, and intelligent people could try their luck with the lantern riddles. Kids had their own story-telling corner, and the main stage was graced by musicians, singers, and other performers. Could hardly believe that there are kids in my church who can perform on a unicycle. At the end of the night, our stall was declared as the winner!!! Glad that all the hard work paid off.