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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Forever Grateful

During the Tuen Ng or Dragon Boat Festival, I had some sticky rice dumplings. The ones we got from relatives were rich in fillings and were delicious. The inexpensive ones my wife got from Chongqing, though simple and bland, triggered my memories.

When I was a village boy living in Tin Sum San Tsuen, a woman itinerant hawker selling rice dumplings frequented our home. She would make rhythmic cries: "Salty dumplings! Sweet dumplings!" Grandma was her regular patron as she would not let her grandchildren stay hungry.

For just a few coins, the motherly hawker served us very well. She would carefully unwrap the dumplings' bamboo leaves for reuse and then use a twine to slice them into bite-sized pieces. I liked to eat the dumplings with lots of white sugar, whether they were salty or sweet.

Although we have already finished all the rice dumplings at home, the decades-old scenes, characters, dialogues and actions stuck in my head. In times of adversity, the motherly hawker, and my kind grandma, devoted their lives to help raise families. To them, I am forever grateful!

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