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Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 9:02:06 AM
by kathleen ann kili
Family spirit: Tan and Mathevi lighting up an oil lamp with their son Sree Yuvaraj Tan Hong Leong (left), daughter Hema Tan Sui Lan, son-in-law Steve Yoon Chee Wai and grandson Dashan Yoon Tang En at their house in Johor Baru.
JOHOR BARU: Even after 28 years, warehouse executive Tan Kim Seong can still remember his anxiousness when he had to celebrate Deepavali with his prospective Indian in-laws for the very first time.
“As a Chinese man, I was clueless as to how Deepavali was celebrated, and I was anxious,” he said at his home in Taman Desa Cemerlang here on Wednesday.
In 1985, Tan decided to make a special tree with lights and lamp ornaments as a gift for the parents of M. Mathevi, whom he was courting at that time. The act was intended to win over the parents.
“I guess that tree worked because I married my fiancee with their full support and blessings the following year,” Tan said, adding that the special tree has been used as part of their decorations every Deepavali.
Since then, Tan does not only help with the decorations at his in-laws’ home in Malacca, but also assists them to make Indian snacks such as murukku and ommopodi.
“Every year, we travel as a family to my in-laws’ home in Malacca to celebrate the festivities with them.
“On Deepavali morning, I will follow my wife’s family to the temple to offer prayers to our ancestors and seek blessings,” he said.
Tan, 52, and Mathevi, 50, have been married for 27 years. They have three children and a grandson.
He added that while Mathevi teaches their children Indian culture and traditions, he is the one imparting the Chinese aspects.
Tags / Keywords:
Family & Community, Johor Baru, Deepavali, Chinese, Indian, celebration
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