Tuan Wu

Today is the double fifth day of the Lunar calender, the fifth day of the Fifth Moon.

This is also called the Tuan Wu festival, or more popularly, the festival of the “Chang” or “Zongzi”..

Zongzi is just rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.

It used to be that only during the week preceding the festival that people would start making Zongzi, but nowadays, it has become so commercialised that zongzi is available throughout the year.

Because of this, younger generations do not really look forward to eating zongzi, unlike during the time when we were young.

It was precisely because of this that during my childhood, my mother only cooked the new year dishes once a year, and not at any other time, so that we would look forward to eating the reunion dinner.

Tuan Wu  is a festival to commemorate the loyalty of a minister in the Chu kingdom during the era of Warring States, when China was divided into many small warring states.

The minister, Qu Yuan, was a righteous person and often gave advice on good governance which was not palatable to the King. Qu Yuan advocated a policy of alliance with the other kingdoms of the period against the hegemonic Qin state, which threatened to dominate them all. However,  the Chu king fell under the influence of other corrupt, jealous ministers who slandered Qu Yuan and banished his most loyal counselors.

Since his advice fell into deaf ears, and the royal court had become corrupted,  he decided to end his own life to show his loyalty by jumping into Mi Lo Jiang.

When people heard of that, they  rowed their boats in the river to look for his body. when they could not find his body, they decided to wrap rice dumplings and threw into the river to feed the fish so that they would not touch Qu Yuan’s body.

Such was the story. This is a festival of loyalty; loyalty not just to the king, but more towards one’s responsibilities for the welfare of the common people.

When rulers disregard  good advice and good people around them, the final result is predictable. The State of Chu was eventually conquered by Qin, which went on to from the Qin Dynasty.

There is a lesson to be learn here, not just in eating zongzi.. ….

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 13:26:41

    Dr Hsu. The Story of Qu Yuan reminded me of you and your advice to that person who pretended to be a man, Koh Tsu Koon. Your advice just fall on deaf ears and dead brain.

    Like

  2. Dr Hsu
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 13:48:01

    klm,

    I am just an ordinary person and my voice is so small that KTK would not even bother listen to…

    In a way, all of us who are commenting here and elsewhere in the blogosphere are little Qu Yuan. We all want to have good governance, good lives. We all voice out our opinion which fell on deaf ears.

    Learn the lesson here, and kick out the tyrants.

    Like

  3. disgusted
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 15:50:17

    Ha….ha… I like the new Dr Hsu. The bondage is off, the burden is thrown away and your conscience can soar.

    Like

  4. chanjoe1
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 16:26:04

    This is the case we see in our country and guess we will have to make more zongzi and throw into the rivers thru out the country to help save the righteous people if BN is allowed to continue to rule from Putrajaya and what a sinister plot to make use of youths to do a so called “help defend Putrajaya”….but from who? Do we have any enemies who are coming in to conquer our country or we have drone planes attacking Putrajaya or maybe NATO sending their planes to attack Putrajaya?
    Nevertheless, Malaysians are now so mach smarter than before and all these propaganding will be thrown out of the window come GE 13.

    Like

  5. CYC
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 17:20:37

    This Tuan Wu is so cold to BN. PAS just given them some halal zongzi but they have no appetite to eat as their propaganda through MSM failed miserably in the recently concluded PAS muktamar.

    Like

  6. Li Li Fa
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 00:13:00

    Qu Yuan was a righteous man, whose sacrificial death is still remembered and honoured till today. All our ministers should be like Qu Yuan, but they need not jump into the river; just be righteous leaders to help defend a righteous and a democratic system of governance, upholding freedom of speech and a corruption-free government.

    We, the ordinary folks can also be like Qu Yuan, and practise voting righteously to usher in a new reformed democratic government in time to come – the 13GE and beyond.

    There is so much to learn from Tuan Wu festival, ancient oriental history.

    Like

  7. monsterball
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 03:41:43

    I am glad few Chinese festivals are forgotten or ignored.
    Yes “bakchang” is sold thoughout the whole year…and why not. It is nice and why must it be restricted to a festival time only.
    The most important festival…I think is the festival where small rice or ground nut balls cooked in with bowl of sugar soup .. with ginger flavour….also found through out the year.
    I heard from my parents …this festival is more important that CNY.
    Certain Clan Associations are dying…no more members.
    When they were very active…Malaysian Chinese are so divided.
    We are Malaysians….and should focus on the roots..where we came from and let most China’s festivals…be celebrated by Chinese..not Malaysians.
    I like the lantern and boat festivals…and that are now copied …all over the world too.
    I wonder were they originated from China of copied by Chinese.
    The post is about corruptions and patriots.
    In Malaysia…we will vote the corrupted lot out and throw them into rubbish cans…come 13th GE.

    Like

  8. monsterball
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 04:53:55

    In modern days….we learn through mistakes and not to repeat it again.
    As for Malaysian politics…useless to think the corrupted government can change for the better.
    It is too deeply rooted and no way out for them…except to keep fooling MalaysIans.
    In Japan…I guess Tuan Wu story does inspire politicians there.
    Malaysia have three strong cultures and each have their festivals….that are pointing to fighting the devils…and win…good over evil…light over darkness.
    UMNO B is a devilish corrupted government.
    Everyone knows that.
    They have supportors too.
    In Malaysia…it is a non stop battle against rouges and thieves..that govern our country.
    They will never be honourable like Tuan Wu. Face the facts.
    In modern day..it depends on elections to vote these crooks out.
    The crooks know their days are numbered.
    Do not fall into their traps to rojak the country and declare Emergency Rule…with races conflicts.
    Stay calm…be brave and wait for 13th GE to do what Tuan Wu cannot do at the era of his time.
    It depends how much Najib love Malaysians to stop his nonsense and let voters decide.
    Najib is weak and seeks Rosmah’s advises.
    One who can kill to protect her husband..can be very dangerous.
    That’s what we must watch the many provoking events passed by…with no fear.
    You show fear…and plan migrations…more and more will come.
    Stay put and defend with your votes.
    Najib cannot keep delaying 13th GE.
    He is the longest unelected PM …only appointed by his party.
    More delays will prove Najib is afraid of something.
    What is he afraid of?

    Like

  9. CYC
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 12:21:31

    Gelakan is just another ordinary member of UMNO’s “Obedient Wives Club”.
    Qu Yuan failed in his mission to inspire KTK. Instead, KTK only wants to be an obedient wife to the man with unfulfilled lust. Oh no… KTK himself has an unfulfilled desire of being screwed by UMNO.

    Like

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