June 4, 2016

Crab and Glutinous Rice

What are your people's traditional way of announcing the birth of a child?

The Foochows in Sibu would call close relatives to come around for a bowl of noodles and chicken soup during the first month after the birth of a child. This period is a very important customary ritual for a new mother who must regain all the strength and health after having a 9 month pregancy and a childbirth, which was, in the olden days, a matter of life and death. So she needed a mandatory of "sitting of the month" with lots of chicken soup, noodles and nutritious and healthy food. She would have a long rest. Meals would be eaten in her bedroom and she was not allowed even into the garden.

 Friends and relatives would bring gifts to " send peace" or shurng ang when they come to offer their congratulations and to see the baby.

After a month, there can be a small feast to celebrate the baby's Full Month. If it is a boy and he is a first born, and first grandson, there will be more to do. The happy family can announce a big banquet in a restaurant. It really depends on the social and financial standing of the family. However a first born son is always a happy addition to a family amongst the Foochows.

The Holo people of Taiwan call glutinous rice “migao.” Traditionally, when a mother has given birth to a baby boy, the family will announce the joyful news by presenting their neighbors with glutinous rice and eggs dyed red. Neighbors receiving this dish will, in turn, present the family with uncooked rice and a small stone, a wish for the child to grow up healthy and strong.

The taste of freshness from the crab is absorbed into the glutinous rice, making the glutinous rice not as heavy as it usually is. Best eaten during winter because glutinous rice is said to be very warming for the body.

All three photos are from Google.

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