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3 Feb 2014

Reunion Dinner at home

Penang [檳城] • 3 FEBRUARY 2014
Poon Choi , also known as pun choi or Big Bowl Feast, is a traditional type of dish originating from Hong Kong village Cantonese cuisine. It may also be found in different parts of Hong Kong. It is served in wooden, porcelain or metal basins.

It was said that Poon Choi was invented during the late Song Dynasty. When Mongol troops invaded Song China, the young Emperor fled to the area around Guangdong Province and Hong Kong. To serve the Emperor as well as his army, the locals collected all their best food available, cooked it, and because there were not enough containers, put the resulting dishes in wooden washbasins. In this way, Poon Choi was invented.

In 2003, a million Poon Choi feast was held in the former Kai Tak airport. It opened 660 tables, seats 12 people per table, together with the staff, a total of nearly ten thousand people participated. It broke the world record of the highest number of people gathered eating Poon Choi.
Chinese people from all corners of the world celebrate the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival according to the Lunar Calendar. Therefore, the lunar New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are as important as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in western countries.
In China, there are different ways to celebrate the Spring Festival as people stick to various local traditions. But a reunion dinner is a must for everyone on Chinese New Year's Eve.
The reunion dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year is like a magnet that draws all the family members back home. Reunion dinner is less of a ceremony and more of a promise that the family will once again unite despite their work and studies outside.

What is culture? Are they important to you? Many of us do not think that traditions are as important as why it is called tradition anymore. Why I say so is because of the changing and modern world we live in. If you look around you would realize there are many families who are engross into the modernization and technological world we live in. At the dinner table you would see that the kids staring into their ipod, ipad and iphone, parents could be staring at their ipad and on the phone too.

Do you still hold a gathering for everyone around for dinner on Lunar New Year Eve, be it in their homes or in a fancy restaurant. These days, most opt for eating out given the lavish spread restaurants and hotels offer and - more importantly - the convenience of it all. Eating out means no need to plan the menu which entails striking the right balance between observing the traditions of generations past and the culinary delights of today.

Furthermore cooking for a big gathering can be very taxing. And the best part is, eating out means there will be no dishes to do after the big makan. Nevertheless, some feel there is a certain appeal about having everyone gather at the diner table in one's own home.
In every culture, tradition is different. That is why it is important to pass down your cultures to the next generation and teach them the values that has been passed down from generation to generations. 


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