Wednesday, September 13, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 3:34 pm

Further to my previous post, I have been wondering what shall I blog about.

Grandma's funeral was last Saturday and it was based on Taoist rites as she and the majority of my family members and relatives are Taoists. I am one of the rare few Christians in the family. I was not "alien" to the rituals because I am a Christian convert in 1998.

Anyway, having experienced a Taoist funeral rites again, I realised that there is no eulogy made during the funerals. I could not make out clearly what the Taoist priest was saying as he was speaking in Hokkien. Well, yes, I am a Hokkien but the Hokkien that he spoke was pure and directly translated from the chinese characters whereas mine was more of a "market-talk" Hokkien. Eulogies, on the other hand, take place in a Christian funeral and I think it serves a good purpose as it, inter alia, records and compliments what the deceased has achieved during their lifetime. More often than not, sweet memories were recalled which brings smiles to people's faces.

I shall now attempt to give an appropriate Eulogy in memory of my late grandmother.

My late grandmother is the last of my surviving grandparents. I knew her the most out of the four of them. My paternal grandparents passed away before dad and mum got married. My maternal grandfather passed away when I was only 7 and I can only recall very few things about him.

My late grandmother is a shy person. Yes, she comes across as a lady who is always shy to burden others. Very "khek ki" as they say in Hokkien. She is always smiling and humble in heart and kind to her children and grandchildren.

During the 80s, I loved visiting her at her home in Pontian Kechil, Johor, Malaysia as there is a large compound to play with. Remember my previous post "The Boy with the Coconut"? That was a picture taken from my grandmother's old house. Yes, I used to roll coconuts on the ground, catch tadpoles from the drain as well as flying dragonflies. Grandmother used to rear some chickens and I am always very excited when it's feeding time when she starts sprinkling feed on the ground.

Apart from that, grandmother is very hospitable. Visits to her home is never complete without tasting her home-brewed local coffee. I used to drink her coffee (mixed with condensed milk) so much when I was about 2 or 3 years old that I was promptly told that my skin might turn darker if I had continued to do so. (No offense to my darker skinned readers intended). I duly stopped drinking coffee from then. But my relatives swore by her home-brew. That is not the only good stuff she serves. Who can ever forget her "Tau Yu Bak" (Stewed Pork in Dark Soya Sauce)? She cooks them over charcoal fire and the pork (with its fat) almost melts in the mouth. One thing I always notice is that she prefers to squat when she peels garlic, onions etc rather than working on a tabletop. Such is her stamina which will put a lot of youngsters to shame!

Grandmother also likes to watch cantonese tv serials though she does fall asleep halfway sometimes. It is just something to keep her occupied. When I see her dozed off, I would usually ask her to retire to bed instead so that it would be more comfortable but she will say she wants to continue watching and almost immediately after, doze off again!

During times when I was naughty and the cane beckons, I will usually seek cover from Grandmother. Of course, mum will be furious and tried to give me a good spanking whilst I will hide behind Grandmother who will be protecting me like how kids play "Mother Hen". Even though she tried to tell mum to stop spanking me, she also told me that I should not have been naughty in the first place. At least, she was not spoiling me.

Many relatives and friends attended Grandmother's wake and funeral service which is a testament of the respect many give to her. Grandmother leaves behind 7 children (1 deceased), many grandchildren and a couple of great-grandchildren (including my two daughters).

Her favourite song is "The Moon represents my heart" - a mandarin song sung by the late Teresa Teng. It was played by the brass band prior to the funeral procession and it moved the hearts of many, including mine.

Truly, her life has been a symbol of love, patience, humbleness and kindness.



At 6:47 pm, Blogger Wuching

may ur grandma rest in peace!


At 9:45 pm, Blogger Diana Tan

My paternal grandma is in her nineties, about 92, a nonagenarian. She's a buddhist and I constantly pray for her salvation and conversion to Christianity.


At 3:02 pm, Anonymous Hijackqueen

My condolence to you.

I'm wondering for convert, you do participate in the ritual or just stay aside watching?


At 3:07 pm, Blogger PabloPabla

wuching : Thanks.

diana : Continue praying :)

hijackqueen : As she is my grandma, I participated in the ritual as a mark of respect and honour to her. That differs from worshipping. I did not take the joss sticks though and neither did I bow to the Taoist gods. I prayed in silence. My relatives understand these and respects my acceptable boundaries.


At 4:33 pm, Anonymous Laksa

my sincere condolence on your loss, dear friend.


At 5:52 pm, Blogger blurblur

Thank you for this post. I ought to spend more time with my maternal grandparents from now on...


At 6:01 pm, Blogger PabloPabla

laksa : Thanks mate!

blurblur : I am sure she will love it :)


At 11:14 pm, Blogger H J Angus

sorry to hear about your grandma's passage.

Be glad you were able to enjoy the years with her.
I do not remember any time spent with my grandparents.