March 19, 2013

Foochow Wedding Biscuits - Leh Bian

 When a Foochow girl is engaged, her family will ask the groom's family to provide a sum of money to pay for what we call Leh Bian. Not every modern Foochow family will do this.

But there are still biscuit companies in Sibu which will make these cakes.

These cakes will be made into different sizes. Closest relatives like uncles and aunties will receive the biggest sized leh bian ( No.5) and the next level of kin will receive #3. The smallest are given to neighbours and friends.

Actually these cakes are symbols of an impending marriage.

and they are usually happily distributed and joyously and graciously received. The recipients will then accordingly prepare a gift to reciprocate. Those receiving #5 leh bian may have to make a bee line to their favourite goldsmith to prepare a gift of gold ring or even a bracelet.

The girl's grandmother usually prepares a gold chain,if she is very generous because she is top of the list to receive a #5 leh bian. But the family will also reciprocate with an angpow called "Ma Dang" or Grandmother's Share. Sometimes you can make to order a special size like my friend Ivy who ordered a special "2 ft" diameter leh bian for her daughter in law's grandmother. That must be a Foochow Record.

Gone are the days when we practise all these Foochow traditions. But every now and then, people do adhere to a few of our wedding traditions. Whether you are marrying a daughter or receiving a daughter in law, there are some memorable "things" you can do to make the wedding a happy one.

Double Happiness is the best policy for any tradition. But one must not break the bank to hold a happy event.

God bless all marriages on earth!!

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