tropical winter solstice

20161221_201530tongyuen

A tropical winter solstice? Yes. Strange as it may seem, some traditions carry on despite marked changes in geographical situation.

The Chinese celebrate winter solstice around the world, with tong yuen (Cantonese) / tang yuan (putonghua) 湯圓 – chewy little round glutinous rice dumplings with sweet sesame or red bean or peanut paste filling.

Our little family – my baby sister, her hubby, mum, and I – had ours with a South East Asian twist. Instead of the typical Chinese sweet ginger ‘soup’ in which the dumplings are usually served, Robin used ‘mata kuching‘ (a type of ‘longan’ from Borneo). Robin also made a ‘dry’ version, coated in ground peanut.

(The furry children had their own dog-friendly dessert, which was gobbled down in a few seconds, before I had the chance to photograph them.)

We spent the evening watching a DVD of a Hong Kong telly serial. Subdued and low key – but clement.

Happy Winter Solstice!

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