Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Churching in Cempaka
For close to 30 years, St. Ignatius Catholic Church had been neighbours with Kampung Cempaka. The predominantly Chinese villagers are very familiar with the church because weekend masses create a wonderful traffic snarl for them when coming in from LDP (constructed in 1997). Over the years, the church has grown so big that its impossible not to notice. The current parish priest decided that the church should be more proactive in reaching out to its neighbours to promote community spirit and togetherness. In order to achieve this, the church reached out to Kg. Cempaka via their headwoman (actually the church had started building bridges since the gotong-royong activity during Lent 2017) to organize "Solstice & Christmas Party 2017" at the Kg. Cempaka basketball court (it's actually covered and often used for community functions). The event was on the exact date of the Winter Solstice, an important festival for the Chinese. Many expressed worry that the turnout would be affected, but it went well anyway. Even the heavy downpour at the start couldn't dampen our spirits.
The Winter Solstice is a celebration steeped in culture and has a heavy reunion theme. Leveraging on those aspects, the organizing committee planned a mass tang yuan making activity, and wove in a celebration for Christmas. Mum was part of the kitchen crew, a team tasked with preparing the dough, and sweet soup. In addition, the kitchen crew would standby to cook tang yuan. The temporary kitchen looked formidable with gas stoves, induction cookers, kettles, and large pots and pans. The event was graced by headwoman Teressa Lim Yeng Fah, YB Yeo Bee Yin, and Pastor Gilbert.
Many performances were also planned to keep the guests entertained. However, it was little strange that they opened the night with performances in Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil, which didn't strike a chord with the majority of the villagers. Many groups provided entertainment, singing, dancing, acting, and playing musical instruments (check out the cute twink Er Hu Eric). When it came to the tang yuan making activity, it was kinda messy. Lets just say that I didn't want to risk eating tang yuan that came from that activity. Haha. So cincai. All sorts of disfigured tang yuan came out from the kitchen to feed only a fraction of people (as many had left). At the end, there was an snowman craft activity using socks and nylon fiber filling. By the then, I was pooped. Still had to drag our gear back to church (no parking near the venue). But it was worth it as the event was a success.