It was indeed a privilege and honour for Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) to host a dana luncheon for Venerable Professor Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero on February 5th 2016 at Imperial Treasure Noodle & Congee House.
Venerable Professor Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero is the Vice-Chancellor of Buddhist and Pali College, Sri Lanka who graced the convocation of graduates of bachelors and masters classes held at Mangala Vihara Buddhist Temple on January 31st 2016.
The group of diners included Bhante Seelananda, Bhante Cakkapala and Bhante Sunitha from the sangha members and MVDF committee members comprised of Chairman Raymond Yow, Brothers Hing Seng Huat, Yeap Cheow Soon, Chin Kee Thou and Sisters Suriaty “Sue” Simon and Christine Chiam.
The Lunar New Year of the zodiac sign of the monkey falls on February 8th and 9th which is two days away and already immersed in the festive mood and indulged in a unique dish – a speciality which is only available during this season – is the yusheng.
Yusheng literally means “raw fish” but since “fish (鱼)” is commonly conflated with its homophone “abundance (余)”, Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yusheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.
It usually consists of strips of raw fish, mixed with shredded vegetables of several colours and a variety of sauces, crackers and condiments, among other ingredients, mixed as diners toss the ingredients known as lohei (捞起), or tossing for abundance of wealth and good health.
Dining in a Chinese restaurant and using a pair of chopsticks is the tradition and surprisingly the sangha members are dexterous and manipulative in handling them. Thus, the lohei tossing of the ingredients was elegantly executed with grace. So we will all be wealthy and healthy.
More surprising, Venerable Professor Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero uttered his words of thanks and good tidings eloquently in Mandarin, most befitting for the occasion of Chinese New Year.
Contributor: Chin Kee Thou
Date: February 6th 2016