Of all the states in Malaysia, I believe Penang’s Chinese are the most superstitious and carry out elaborate prayers and celebrations not found elsewhere. Even my brother-in-law’s sister from Guangzhou, China was puzzled with the manner my sister does her offerings. And bro-in-law’s siblings from KL/Johor/Perak watched with amusement the other day when my niece got married. There are so many things that they have never seen.
Now, I am stuck with a bit of a problem. Someone gave us the above in a hamper. It is very beautifully made. Costing RM16.80. And it is edible. On top of that, it is perishable, meaning that we HAVE TO EAT the god of prosperity or it has to be thrown away because it will spoil. I had peeled off the bottom of the plastic casing. The inside is releasing carbon dioxide (?) because it is made of sugar and rice. But I can’t bear to bite it. Where do I start? From the head? Or his legs? Though I am no longer a Taoist, I still feel strongly against the idea of making a statue of the god of prosperity into an edible food. This statue is meant as an offerings. The Chinese need to offer the nien kau/tee kueh/kueh bakul to their idols. Therefore, enterprising businessmen have ventured into making money because every Chinese who aren’t Christians/Hindus/Muslims will need to buy a few pieces. But eating the god of prosperity? I can’t do it. It just seems so wrong.