PROSPERITY AND POSTERITY
Symbolism pervades Chinese culture in every form and function, and so too does it mark the cuisine of its people. With a multitude of meanings that stem from the ingredients, presentations, and even cooking methods, Chinese cuisine is one that honours life, health, wealth, and goodness through auspicious words and phrases, uttered at the height of the celebrations amidst the happy reunion of family and friends.
All this is made the more evident during the Lunar New Year. With extra-long chopsticks at the ready, celebrants of the Lunar New Year speak words of goodwill, with wishes for a generous year filled with friendship, advancement, love, and good health. Fish is served to ensure that the family has an abundance of prosperity. Prawns are served to evoke laughter and good times. Dumplings signify wealth, and sweet rice balls are a precursor to happy times for the family. Longevity noodles, in clear deference to their name, are brought out to evoke happiness and permanence. There is meaning to be found in food, just as there is meaning to be found in life.
“Our Chinese New Year menus are conceptialised with meaningful names to celebrate the new year with wealth and prosperity,” Says Chef Jimmy Wong of Yun House in Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur. “As an example, a ‘money bag’ dish to