Monday, April 18, 2005
Starting Point The run started at 8 am after some speeches and balloon releasing cum officiating ceremony. There was also petition to sign against Japan’s bid to be the permanent member in the UN Security Council. I did sign the petition. Japan cannot just simply whitewash Japan’s wartime atrocities from the history book. I still remember my grandmother’s account of her frightful encounter with some Japanese soldiers in Malaya. She was hiding behind a door when one of the Japanese soldiers swiped his samurai sword underneath it. At that time she was pregnant with my father. Luckily, she managed to get through the whole ordeal without being discovered by the Japanese soldiers, if not there won’t be me sitting here, writing this blog. The run was not as morbid and eerie as I perceived earlier. The sun was bright. The birds are chirping. KL Tower and KL Twin Tower skyline was seen peering from the lush greenies, which were soothing to the eyes. I tried not to focus on the old tombstones along the road. The thoughts of Chinese vampires (kiong si) hopping out of the grave did flash into mind but I quickly wipe them out by shifting my focus to the runners in front and the blue sky. Yes! Blue sky! Blue sky! Blue sky! Slow and steady I ran along the winding road, passing by thousands of old burial plots and sometimes caught a whiff of burning joss stick in the air. There were plenty of families at the cemetery to perform the Qing Ming ritual – to visit and pray the ancestors’ graves. Qing Ming (equivalent to All Soul’s Day) usually falls in the month of April. Family members gather at the graveyard to pray. Candles and joss stick are lighted. “After world money” is burned as an offering to the dead. Graveyards are cleaned and weeded. It is a once a year ritual. This also caused the road at the cemetery to be packed with cars this morning.