Qionghai : Hainan Village Trip 2017

  • eastcoastlife

From Singapore, I took an early flight to Haikou, arriving at Meilan International Airport before 11 am. My second nephew was waiting for me. It took us an hour of driving to reach our ancestral home in Qionghai.

The rest of the family were waiting for me. It was the Chinese Thanksgiving Day, we were going to offer prayers to our ancestors. It is a big celebration for every family on the island during the lunar tenth month.

Chinese Thanksgiving Day

All the males in the family prayed and made offerings to our ancestors. The ritual does not allow women to participate. I stood by the side to observe the ceremony. My second nephew set off some firecrackers after all the joss sticks burnt out. Our ancestral worship ceremony was considered done.

Maybe I am lucky to be born in Singapore, the men still has some respect for me. After the prayers, I get to sit down with them for lunch. My elder brother-in-law TK asked me to sit next to him. The rest of the women served and waited for us to finish our meal before they would eat.

My sister-in-law had slaughtered and cooked some home breed poultry. She served both the famous Hainan braised chicken and goose. TK cooked my favourite braised pork belly. Most of the vegetables and rice are grown on our farm. I missed my sister-in-law’s cooking, and always look forward to her delicious dishes. After lunch, we moved to the hall for coffee.

The women served some traditional Hainanese snacks. They had made larp (glutinous rice dumpling) and yi buah (glutinous rice cake with coconut stuffing). TK brewed coffee.

Qionghai Hospitality

While I was enjoying the snacks and chatting with my family, several villagers dropped in to visit. They are our distant relatives with the same family surname. My family have “announced” to the whole village that I was coming, so they stopped by to see me. haha ……

I brought gifts of food for my family. There were coffee powder from Brazil, biscuits and tidbits from Japan, Australia and France. My family opened up the food packages and generously shared with the visitors. TK brewed more coffee to serve them.

During my first visit to our village, the visitors came non-stop, and at different hours of the day and night. It became exhausting as I had to smile and make small talk. There are more than two hundred residents in our village where most of them are elderly people.

On this trip, I planned to do some sightseeing plus food hunting in Haikou, Sanya and Qionghai.


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