Was sitting on the sofa wearing my shoes this morning when something dark on the white corridor outside caught my eye..
BUTTERFLY!!! MOTH!!! WHATEVER YOU CALL IT!!!
Oh no.. It's one of those huge weightless flying things with patterns on the wings.. How to leave the house? Will I disturb it when I open the door? Will it flutter all around me? NOOO!! =(
Then bro opened the door and left for school.
The creature didn't move a bit.
Slightly relieved.. Thought it must be sleeping and left the house as quietly as I could. Hmmm, do they have ears?? Whatever.. Anyway, have been scared of such fluttering things since watching Mi Li Ye when I was a kid. Do you remember? The SBC (not even TCS yet! What is it now? :p) drama series of short creepy tales?
The elders always say that these butterflies/moths are the manifestation of the souls of people who have died. Mother will say it's either dua gor who doted on us or Gramps. I'm tempted to believe it cos I notice that they appear more frequently during the seventh lunar month.. But of course, that month is always around the same time every year so can be explained by the creatures' mating season. Let me be rational..
Speaking of Gramps, Sunday was his death anniversary. We had some sort of ceremony going on at Grams' place. We took three incense sticks each and prayed - I never knew how to pray, just thought in my head, "to ah gong" - before putting the sticks in the urn, facing the offerings and the door. Then the uncles went downstairs to burn the paper clothes and incense paper etc. And it was done. The offerings to Gramps became lunch for the living. That night, Mother went back and lit more incense at the altar cos it was also the 15th day of the lunar month.
Sometimes I wonder if such traditional practices will survive my generation. Perhaps it will but the next? I know for certain that I will not tolerate an altar occupying 20% of my living room lor! Not to mention that my eyes are sensitive to the incense smoke.
But there are some traditions I'll want to perpetuate, like visiting relatives during CNY, making rice dumplings and playing with paper lanterns. I like my extended family, not all of them :p but CNY is when the cousins will congregate for silly games! Rice dumplings are so so sinful but I love them! And I'm taking leave next Thurs to make them - Mother will prepare and cook while I shall do the wrapping and tying, techniques that elude her for some reason. Then there's my yearly love affair with paper lanterns, even at this age. It's just.. nice to go downstairs with CY carrying our colourful lanterns and some mooncakes :)
I guess I'm more open to the more secular traditions, or so long as no praying and no incense sticks are involved. Years of crying in the presence of incense smoke have made me totally averse to the whole praying thing, and it's not like I have much faith in this kind of thing anyway..