Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Moon My Cakes!
Each passing year, we get further away from tradition. Is this fusion or variety or just plain stupidity. I am talking about mooncakes. The whole thing marks of a scam.
Who doesn't know that the cost of a mooncake is minimal really compared to their exorbitant selling price. Why do you think almost every restaurant sells them? There must be a global collusion to sell these over priced things - its a Chinese mafia I tell you.
At best, the mooncake festival can be an excuse for family togetherness. The actual reasons and history for how the festival are pretty flimsy. Its more stuffs of legends and fairytales than rooted in reality. But anyway, since the Chinese culture has no solid God/religion, where everything goes (the world is full of dieties and buddhas as the saying goes), hearsay and stories evolved into things cultural, which in turn becomes tradition, which is much like Christmas, becomes a marketing extravaganza.
Since it is stuff of legends and fairytales, its not rooted deeply, and is open for interpretation. It used to be just lotus paste and black sesame. Throw in the egg yolks if you want. NOW you have: lotus with dried sambal; green tea & pu er; dragonfruit with blackcurrent; spirulina; the omochis; the ice cream ones; the durian paste; pandan sweet corn; capuccino; yam gingko nut; chocolate strawberry fondue; the various types of skin covers; oreo; chocolate walnut brownie; .... enough already... we are all losing the plot!!!
Go back to the roots of the tradition. Why do we have Mooncake Festival? Its for family togetherness, its really for the kids ... I remember as kids I loved the festival, the lanterns and candles. I liked that connection, knowing that my dad and grad dad probably played with similar lanterns, similar candles and ate the same kind of mooncakes 50 or 100 years ago. That's the tradition that connects, and the kind you want to pass on to the next generation.
Not that anything about the mooncake thing is true, its cultural and it carries values, things we want to pass on - whether the festival is rooted in true events is not material anymore.
Hence, please you bloody marketers, do not cheapen the tradition. We want the connectivity. I will still want to buy the basic lotus paste or black sesame... and also the baked fish-shapes / pig-shaped mooncake biscuits ... because they all remind me of the past which I longed to remember and the people I do not wish to forget.