February 1, 2006

Lo Hei!! (捞起)

Lo Hei is part of the local tradition during the Chinese Lunar New Year. Lo Hei is a Cantonse word for '捞起'. The Chinese equivalent is Lao Yu Sheng '捞鱼生'.

In the Singlish Dictionary, it is explained as the following:
lo hei /loh hay, «U heI/ n., v. & int. [Cant. lo dredge, scoop + hei up; Mand. 捞起 lāoqĭ] A n. An act of partaking in Yusheng, particularly during the Chinese New Year season. B v. Mix or toss a dish of Yusheng during a Chinese meal. C int. Exclamation traditionally uttered when one is mixing or tossing a dish of Yusheng... Lo hei is the act of tossing yu sheng. B 2001 Krist Boo & Samantha Ng (quoting Dawn Ranji David) The Straits Times, 8 February, H2 Yesterday was also yuanxiao jie, the 15th and last day of the Chinese New Year, which is typically marked with family reunions, lanterns and the eating of tangyuen (sweet rice-flour balls). .. ‘I suppose it’s their last chance to lo hei?’ she said, referring to the custom of tossing raw-fish salad for good luck.

Essentially, the plate of ingredients for Lo Hei includes shredded carrots, cucumber, raddish, chilli-like stripes, preserved onions, raw fish (salmon is the most popular fish), a few types of sauces like plum sauce, honey and others like pepper, cornflakes, sesame seeds... Each ingredient signifies something to the effect of prosperity, good luck, good health, etc... for the year ahead. And from an article that I have read somewhere before, there was a write-up on the list of Chinese auspicious words that are to be said as one pours each ingredient into the plate. I can't find it now... In addition, good and auspicious words are also be uttered as one toss the ingredients.

If you want to know more about it (and if you understand Chinese words), you may read it from a Lian He Zao Bao article dated back in 2001. In the mean time, my DG gathered during the festive season and here is a video recording of the Lo Hei :)

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