IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
Chinese New Year is always a fun and busy time in Singapore. Chinatown is bustling with people, and always festively decorated. Lots of traditions are observed, some old, some a little bit newer. Case in point is the Yusheng, or Prosperity Salad Toss. Typically only found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia at CNY, this salad toss was contemporized in the 1960's by four Singapore Master Chefs, known as the "Four Heavenly Kings", and is intended to symbolize health and prosperity. In the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, Yusheng will be offered at restaurants throughout Singapore. You can even buy Yusheng "kits" in the supermarkets. The salad mainly consists of raw fish, usually salmon, pomelo or lime, shredded vegetables such as carrot, radish and daikon, with a dressing made up of plum sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. All this is topped off with crackers of some kind. Each ingredient symbolizes different things. For example, the fish is abundance, Pomelo or Lime is auspicious value, the vegetables for luck, eternal youth, prosperity in business. The oil is poured around the salad to encourage "money to flow in all directions", the plum sauce is to give you sweet life, the golden crackers symbolize "gold and wealth". The server will add each ingredient to the salad at the table, along with new year greetings and wishes. The fun part is the "toss". Participants stand up and with super long chopsticks will toss the salad high into the air, whilst reciting their wishes for the coming year or shouting "Lo Hei", tossing up good fortune.
During my time in Singapore it has become a little bit of a tradition for myself and a small group of dear friends to get together to toss a Yusheng. I love it, it really is a lot of fun and I look forward to and value this time spent with friends. This year, our group went to Peach Blossoms at The Marina Mandarin Hotel, and I made a little video to document the occasion. As we go into the year of the dog, I wish you Gong Xi Fa Cai.
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