Saturday, January 14, 2012
Home Entertainment Is A thing of the Past in Singapore...
Holding a luncheon or dinner at home for friends and relatives to celebrate a birthday or first moon celebration to announce the arrival of a new baby is becoming a thing of the past in modern Singapore. Without a doubt, the hassle of food preparation and the cleaning-up afterwards have contributed to the demise of home entertaining. Even for those people, who likes home entertaining, very often will have their food ordered and prepared from the numerous caterers or even takeaway form their favourite hawker stalls. In recent times, I have noticed that many Singaporean families have also started to follow the popular trend of holding their traditional Chinese New Year’s eve reunion dinner at hotels and restaurants.
Having a reception at home may appear to be a formidable task for most Singaporeans, but it has several advantages which make the idea well considering. The main advantage, of course, is that it saves a great deal of money and in addition, the food can be better or at least more original than that supplied by most catering companies and hotels for these functions. Looking back, it’s the home entertainment times around our house that stand out in my memory, the times when it was as if a magical spell had been cast where usually there was a frightfully austere daily life of my childhood when job was scare for my father to bring enough money to feed his large family. The makan time is coming! I could tell. The grown-ups were talking about food preparation. It might be an occasion for someone‘s birthday or a very important feast day for an ancestral anniversary or better still, a Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner.
Home entertainment, however, requires some planning. First the number of people coming (allow at least two or three extra uninvited guests that your guests may bring along) and enough room for the reception to be held – it is necessary to allow at least 1 sq. metre per person. Remember, too that some furniture e, such as tables for food and drinks and chair for the young and elderly guests is essential. We are lucky to have a veranda to place a buffet table and a lawn for the guest to move around. Tableware can be a problem and it is best borrowed from friends but we solve it by having inexpensive disposable plastic sets and eliminate washing up. Of course, asking our guests to bring a plate (potluck) help to add more varieties of food on the buffet table.
With a bit of planning, a makan session with friends and relatives held in familiar surroundings of our home, imaginatively transformed with auspicious Chinese characters and chun lian (spring couplets) bought from Chinatown in Sydney will make the coming Chinese New Year for my family and friends to enjoy and remember.
Incidentally, we have decided to extend our invitation to some Singaporeans students and new migrants who may have to spend their New Year’s Eve alone for the first time away from home to come and join our family and friends for the celebration of the Year of the Dragon.