Writer: Riddhwaj Jalan (aka Rid)
Editor: Ong Qing Liang
Before you read on, I would like to introduce myself first. I am an Indian student who has just arrived in Singapore a few months ago. Prior to the E block Mid Autumn Festival, I had had absolutely no idea about the existence of the Mid Autumn Festival (MAF). In fact, my initial reaction to MAF was: “does Singapore even have autumn in the first place??” So, what you are going to read is not another description of a rather commonly understood festival, but rather, recollections of the MAF experience through the eyes of a stranger to the Singaporean culture. :)
Well, I first heard about the existence of mooncakes a month ago, from a friend who decided to torture me with thirty minutes of “Eldorado-flavoured” epic sagas of the fabled origins of mooncakes (which didn’t help explain much actually). All I remember is that he mentioned something about a lady floating off to the moon and somewhere in the story there is a rabbit too. :) And so began my quest to see for myself what this mystic shaman fragility called the “mooncake” actually was.
I had a rather ambiguous image in mind about “mooncakes”. Did it look more like the moon or did it look more like a cake? Did it glimmer? Did it have a lot of craters on its surface? As such, I keenly looked forward to the E block MAF, where I would be able to lay my eyes on this legendary delicacy.
So on the night of 5th October, E blockers came together to celebrate MAF. Actually, I felt that the supper was more of an excuse for all the E-blockers to get together and repair the damage that the mid-terms had had on us. :P As always, the supper did not fail to be entertaining. There was a lot of good interaction, exciting games, delicious cuisine and endless peals of laughter. In line with the celestial theme, it was also the night where we had our ‘angel-mortal’ revelations.
I was particularly impressed by the lanterns which were put up everywhere. Somehow, they gave the event an ancient, traditional and an extraordinarily homely touch (there is one hanging on my door now). The vast variety and the difference in tastes of the moon cakes was also a kind of charm of its own; though to be honest I was hoping for a more “moonly” look (this did not stop me from popping mooncake after mooncake into my mouth though). :p
Overall I think that MAF is one of the many delights that Singapore has to offer and I am glad to have been a part of this fine tradition. I look forward to uncovering many more hidden facets of the Singaporean culture in the future! :D