WELCOME TO EDITION 758 of GRAPEVINE
Champagne flutes waiting to be filled. Photographed at La Gare, a casual restaurant that used to be a train station in Le Mesnil sur Oger.
Christmas is a public holiday in Singapore and Hong Kong.
But not in China.
In Singapore and Hong Kong, most of us do not celebrate Christmas as we would, say, the Lunar New Year, the Muslim New Year or the Hindi New Year. (The Lunar New Year is celebrated not only by Chinese people but also, for example, the Vietnamese and, long ago, by the Japanese),
On Christmas Eve and the day itself, most of us will take the excuse to have dinner with the family. But there will not be turkey.
It’s not so much because it is not traditional with us but because turkey is one of the driest, most tasteless thing you can possibly eat. Better to have a flavourful chicken than the big bird since the larger the size, the less tasty the food tend to be whether fowl, fish, oyster or fruit (particularly durian).
On Christmas Eve, younger people will go on dates and to parties.
Those of my relatives who are Christian will attend mass at church.
Myself will join my paternal family to dinner. I will be in charge of bringing the grape juice.
It’s a responsibility I accept with joy and pride.
May I take this opportunity to wish you HAPPY HOLIDAYS in the days ahead.