I had forgotten my track pants and naively pulled on shorts instead. I was eaten alive by an army of mosquitoes. It was dark; I had no means of defending myself. *tear*It's been years since I was home in Malaysia for Qingming, and it felt pretty good to be a part of it with the family this year.
I get excited about these things; of course, as a child; I often questioned why we gathered at the cemetery once a year, folded paper money and displayed food for our ancestors; which we then consumed in delight after! *grin* It was definitely something I looked forward to at the end of our mornings together.I remember it to always be lots of fun catching up with everyone. It was never eerie or uncomfortable either. Everyone would pitch in to help clean up the place; set up the offerings and chat about our family's ancestral heritage. Sis and I ask more questions about our grandparents and those before them every year that we're there. Inevitably; we learn more about our origins each time.
There is lots about this festival which I remain oblivious about; well until I just recently ran a wiki-search. Apparently it's a just a time for...
"people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime (踏青 Tàqīng, "treading on the greenery"), and also to tend to the graves of departed ones.
People go on family outings, start the spring plowing, sing, dance, and Qingming is a time where young couples start courting. Another popular thing to do is fly kites (in shapes of animals, or characters from Chinese opera)"
Courting and kite flying?! I must try that next year! *grin*
I love the whole idea of this family oriented festival. ...Well;.... maybe not 'entirely'.
For over 10 years it had been perfect; it was as well last Saturday;... up to the point I realized; Oh... we got to now burn this. ... ...... Burn!?.. er?
*looks around at other families creating clouds of smog*
Of course; burning offerings is a big part of qingming; and I suppose it can not be forgone.
But it did scar my 'green' soul a little to watch good paper go up in ashes. Of course it isn't toxic gas; but it does create excessive carbon dioxide. I'm happy grandpa 'received' a nice yacht from mom this year though! *giggle* Sis thinks we should burn him a beach house next year to make sure he gets to use it; haha funny.The family gathered our belongings and our waste before we made our way back up the hill; and I did make a point to clean up the inorganic trash around us before heading off. It was important for me to know that we did what we had to but left the place without leaving any non compost trash behind.
I'm actually amused at my self realization. It isn't till the past couple of years that I've made a significant change in my daily habits and actions in an attempt to contribute to healing our planet. My personal standards of what's acceptable has definitely been raised. I suppose it happened naturally as I matured and took on responsibilities I felt necessary.
Aunt noticed my wrinkled brow and puzzling frown; she wanted to know what I was thinking about,
I simply reassured her everything was fine.
*shrug* I didn't know exactly where to begin; I didn't want to come off as though I opposed of Qingming rituals either.
I decided I'd just have to find other ways to make it up to mother earth today. I'm thinking of planting trees tomorrow; who's with me?! *laughs*
I've got 'cake' all day tomorrow unfortunately; I might just sleep without air conditioning tonight. *shudders at thought*