“It’s Duanwu Festival? What’s that?” I asked aloud.
Mother put down the newspapers and explained, “The Duanwu Festival is an annual festival that commemorates a patriotic Chinese statesman and poet named Qu Yuan. When his state was conquered by a neighbouring state, he committed suicide by jumping into a river. Out of respect, the local people tried to rescue him by racing along the river in their boats. However, they could not locate him. They threw glutinous rice dumplings, also known as zongzi, to distract the fish in the river from eating Qu Yuan’s body. Since then, in many countries with Chinese communities, people hold dragon boat races and eat zongzi during this festival.”
Upon hearing our conversation, Grandmother said in Mandarin, “Mingqi, I’m going to the market to buy the ingredients for zongzi. Would you like to come with me?” This sounded like a great opportunity to escape this greenhouse of a living room. “Sure!” I readily agreed.
After a short walk, Grandmother and I arrived at the supermarket. Grandmother carefully selected Chinese mushrooms and chestnuts while explaining how to pick the freshest ones. She bought glutinous rice, five-spice powder, pork, garlic, onion and salted duck e...
... middle of paper ...
...wrapping the zongzi incorrectly! My miserable zongzi was lopsided and utterly pathetic compared to their beautiful creations. Upon looking at my despondent face, Grandmother chortled with laughter and came to my rescue.
She taught me the right technique to wrap the zongzi and my zongzi finally looked acceptable.
Soon after, we put the zongzi into a gigantic pot of boiling water and cooked them under low heat. Once the cooking was done, I leaped for joy. The savoury zongzi melted in my mouth and I was in seventh heaven. I finished every single bit of the luscious zongzi with relish. The zongzi were the fruits of our labour.
As the Chinese saying goes, “Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.” Looking back, I am glad to have played a part in preparing zongzi. Working with my family has truly been an accomplishing experience for me.
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