A Family Affair: New Year Gathering to Welcome the Water Dragon 2012

Last night, we had our annual family gathering where brothers, sisters, cousins, aunties, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents and grandchildren come together for a few hours for a little feast. There were nearly 90 people (yes, NINETY relatives and it’s only about 40% of our family) attended all related by blood or by marriage…and the number is still growing. Every year we have new members added to the ‘Ýong’ clan. This year we have Ewan (5 months old) and Royce (3 months old) and 3 more buns in the oven (Candee, Lai Kheng and Lai Fong are preggie)…and we have a newly wed (Yee Hong and Mei Yee).

My dad has 11 siblings, nearly all my aunties and uncles are grandparents now. The last I counted, there are about 250+ of the Yong clan as direct descendent of my Great Grandparents or by marriage . Massive family! We all remember the good old times when our late grandmother was around and we used to gather round at her place in Seremban, Malaysia.

Preparing for the gathering was no minor task. We started preparing and organising for the gathering months before the big day. As the gathering is normally hosted by mum and dad, they were up early yesterday doing all sorts. Dad, Hubs, elder and younger bro spent hours (a little over 4 hours!) putting up and testing the canopy with a hose making artificial rain to ensure that the canopy was rain-proof…I found it funny and a little OTT but had to eat my words, luckily they did what they had to do as all the fuss, testings and rain simulations with hours put in did not go in vain. It started to rain dogs and cats as dinner was served. Thanks to the lads, the canopy managed to keep us dry despite of the pouring rain.

This year we had pot luck. Having each family contributing a little something for the family get together not only helped to prolong or minimis the use of the ‘Family Party Fund’ also known as Ah-Gong (Grandfather) Fund, we could try yummy dishes or specialties cooked up by aunties/uncles/cousins. The dishes were all so yummy that I regret to admit…I was too busy eating and did not manage to take pictures of the food before it was all gone…only managed to take a picture of the suckling roast pig which was gone from the main table into our bellies within 30 mins!

Special thanks to
Ku Ma for the suckling pig
Tai Pak and Sam for Jar Yook (stew pork with black fungus)
3 Pak and Sam for Fried Mee Siam and braised mushroom (they were juicy gigantic mushrooms)
4 Pak and Sam for beer and Jar Yook (braised pork)
Dad and mum for unlimited and free flowing rice, for being the hosts and for the canopy to keep everyone dry and comfy
Ah Ku for the pork with yam and beef curry
Ngor J for the fruit platter which includes mangosteen
Mee J for the yam ‘cake’
Ting J for mix vege
Fun J for spring rolls
Elder bro for KFC and drinks
Younger bro for wine and loads of ice
Ah Gong Fund for the chair and tables (thanks to everyone who contributed to the fund)
Sorry if I have not mentioned your contribution, drop me an email and I will update 😀

I hope everyone enjoyed my contribution. I hired a professional photographer (with Perfect Shot) to help us record the precious moments and to take family potraits. I also took the oppurtinity to support Ti-Ratana Welfare Society and arranged dragon and lion dance with them (pictures of the dancers to follow in another post). I took this opportunity to make a donation to Ti-Ratana Welfare Society to help them with the brilliant job they are doing for our society and sincerely thank those who also donated money to Ti-Ratana. May the year of the water dragon brings us family unity, happiness, health, prosperity, youth and wealth.

P/s There were more than 200 pictures taken by Perfect Shot, if you like a copy, please contact my bros (YK or YH). I will try to upload more pictures and provide a link.

Hope to see you all next year…will start saving for air tickets now 🙂

Here are some selected shots. Hope you had a great time. For those who could not make it this year, hope that you will join us in the near future to keep the tradition alive.