…Family Time…

Jul 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Blog

In the past three years after I came to the United States to study, I didn’t have as much time eating with my family. I miss home food and those time with my family. One of my most favorite time of the year is meeting with my whole family for Tomb Sweeping Day.

Because my family has a Chinese blood, every year we go to the ancestral gravesite to glorify our ancestors and clean the site. It is one of the most important time of the year that all of my family members come together, see each other and carry out our tradition. Everyone helps each other bring food and picnic stuff there. My mom always prepares for most of the food. She will cook some food one day earlier and she will get up at 3 am to make sure that we have all we need and ready to go by 5 am. My aunt usually takes care of the fruits and drinks. She is a fruit professional. All of the fruits that she cuts look so neat and pretty. As for mats and sticky rice, my uncle is responsible for that. In addition, my grandmother makes other food which most of the time pretty oily, but it is so delicious. Basically, everyone brings what they have and what is needed.

I am always excited to see my cousins and play with them. As we are getting older and older, we all have more and more responsibility, which means we have less and less time to see each other. My favorite part of this occurrence is when we all eating together after we finish worshiping. My mom, my aunt and my grandmother will bring the food and fruits that they prepare to the mat and we will sit in a circle getting ready to eat! In the middle of the circle, there are northern-style yellow curry, chile-based dips, deep fried crispy pork rinds, chicken stir-fried with sliced ginger, grilled chicken, fruits–mangoes, papayas, watermelons, durians–and sticky rice. Moreover, we have the food that we pray our ancestor to combine, for example red curry, thai basil stir try, dim sum and desserts–cakes and rice balls. As usual we sit on the mats around the food and start eating. My parents and my aunts always stay out of the circle because there is not enough space and they want the kids to eat as much as they can. I always appreciate their sacrifice and their love to us.

This time is always my most joyful time because I have a chance to talk and catch up everything that is going on with our lives.

Even though I don’t have a chance to go to this event anymore, when I go back home during summer, we will have an opportunity to get together in Mother’s Day or “would like to meet” day. Having a good meal and good time with my family is always the most precious and greatest time. Honestly I don’t want anything special but family time.

2 Comments to “…Family Time…”

  1. Mandy Kwan says:

    Hi Beam,

    I also celebrate Tomb Sweeping Day as well. I agree, it is a time for the whole family to come together. What you do with your family sounds so warm. Usually it rains, so we can’t have things laid out for too long. It is an organized event also, where different aunts and uncles will be in charge of bringing different supplies and food.

    That is wonderful being able to see friends and family. Tradition and food really do go hand in hand, and they become more meaningful when we are surrounded by friends and family!

  2. Abigail Cheskis says:


    I absolutely loved reading your post. I felt like I was transported to Thailand watching you and your family eat, talk, pray, and relax together. Although I cannot relate to the exact celebration about which you speak, I can relate to the feeling of being together and catching up with family. I think it’s awesome that families from completely different cultures and parts of the world can relate to one another based on food. Weekly dinners with my aunt, uncle, cousins, mom, and dad bring up those same feelings of appreciation and happiness that you speak of. Through your post, my experiences, and Berry’s writings, it’s clear that food and family are integral parts of one another.

    I hope you go home soon to have this time with your family 🙂

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