Monday, January 26, 2004
Wong Tai Sin is a god who is renowned for answering one's wishes and is often filled with incense offerings, especially at the beginning and end of the year. Although Miss HK winners Mandy Cho, Selena Li and Priscilla Chik studied abroad and have very western personalities, spending their first Chinese New Year back in Hong Kong, they have taken advantage of the break to go and offer incense to Wong Tai Sin and also kneel as they request a fortune stick.
The fortune reader tells that Selena will be the first to find romance as her 'Phoenix Tale' stick number 100 is a good reading and indicates a change of fortunes from having nothing to having something, suggesting there is happiness to come; Mandy's good luck fortune was also good and the reader indicated that she is 'fussy' with choosing a boyfriend as she wishes for a charming and talented man, but he praises her eyes for being pretty and indicates that someone will be there to help her along. As for Priscilla, her fortune is 'Kong Ming borrows an East Wind' - success first time, so she will need help from a friend to find her love.
Mandy says that this is not the first time she has tried the fortune sticks and each time she has a happy result. Her attitude is 'if you ask, you must believe'. The reader says she will have good relationship luck this year, so she will be looking out for the men around her. When asked if she would like to get married, she says: "I'll leave it to destiny, I haven't dated for a year, but I feel that work and love can co-exist. I am becoming more and more interested in this industry, but if someone comes along, I will give it a try because I will not give up love for my career."
Selena and Priscilla are both 'roosters' and this year they have good relationship luck. As this can also represent relationships with audiences, this should indicate success in showbiz and as they both hope to make a career in the industry, they will need to build good relationships with the viewers. They are both working hard on their careers so they both say that love will be left to fate.
Many people say that as a beauty queen, it is easy to find a rich husband, but Selena feels that the more handsome and rich the person, the less faithful they are. What are her criteria for friendship? She smiles: "They need not be rich, the most important thing is to be ambitious. Depending on their family means that they do not treasure what they have, they will only be a true man if they depend on themselves to buy cars and apartments. Of course, the appearance should not be bad and they have to be able to join me for dessert!" It turns out that she loves her desserts and if her partner does not like dessert, it doesn't matter, but he has to be able to accompany her as she laughs that she cannot set her standards too high for fear of never finding a boyfriend.
Priscilla has never dated anyone before, so she is very happy to hear she has good relationship luck this year. She says: "Relationships can also refer to that with the audience and I am still young, so my career is more important. Moreover I have only just started working, so I will choose to do my work first and hope that it goes smoothly." In the past four years, she has been studying in Toronto, but she does not mind having to work through the new year this year. She is happy that she can collect lucky packets by saying "Happy New Year!" to everyone. She did not have much family in Toronto, so this year, her lucky packet income is a record high!
Chiu Chow kid Steven Ma's family does not have the tradition of visiting at the new year, so he has always had a lot of freedom at the new year. When he was younger, after eating the family meal on New Year's Eve, his parents would take him to an aunt's to eat 'Ham Cha' (Salty Tea) until this aunt passed away and he was no longer able to eat it any more. However, he has sorely missed this traditional food from his origins.
Last year, when Steven mentioned this story to TVB's hair stylist 'big sister' Tai Kuen, he found out that her sister-in-law knows how to make 'Ham Cha' and offered to make some for him. This year, Steven remembered the recipe to make this dish and tried to prepare it for himself to relive the feeling of the past. As the put a spoonful of Ham Cha into his mouth, he could only say: "I am speechless, it is too delicious!"
As Steven cooked the dish, he seemed very au fait with it and it turns out that his father looks after the cooking at home, but he has managed to absorb some of his skills and cooking is no challenge to him. He still remembers that in the early hours of bygone New Years, his parents would fry up some prawn crackers, but he didn't know the meaning behind it. Also, every year, his father would stew a big pot of squid and pork that they could go and eat at any time during the new year. "My father made a pot this year too, when he went to buy the squid, the stall owner was curious as to what he was making. As well as squid and pork, the other ingredients are winter mushrooms and lettuce." With his father doing the cooking, as well as watching, Steven's other use was to make soup dumplings. His favourite food is savoury soup dumplings that are filled with winter mushrooms, pork and dried shrimp, then put into boiling soup. he feels that this soup is the most delicious.
"In the past, in the morning of the new year when I woke up, I would kneel and present tea to my mother and father to greet them. On the second day, we would eat Muli cake and New Year cake, but now we are all grown up, when we see it at home, we will already go and eat it a few days before the new year." Steven then suddenly adds: "As we are Chiu Chow people, my father would put a cup of strong Kung Fu Tea down to drink, but now he does not do that because they are busy and we have not learned how to do it and the tradition will be lost. However, my father does buy flowers to decorate the home. This year we did not buy any peach blossom because the petals fall all over the floor. We did buy some narcissus and in the past we have bought chrysanthemums and gladioli, but now my family are not interested."
As Steven does not want his father to work too hard, they ordered a 'basin banquet' for the end of year meal together with a couple of extra dishes that his father likes such as chicken and squid. After six months of working away, Steven is happy to be able to spend the occasion in Hong Kong with his family.
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