Need I to explain to you what is meant by RED BOMB? It simply a funnier way to mean a wedding invitation card. 'Red' is referring to the color of the card, while 'BoMb' is because the damages it inflicts on the receiver, though not in the form of physical injury of course. The damages will be in...err...well,...financial. For Chinese culture, when we attend a wedding dinner, we are supposed to return the "ang pow" - also a red packet containing $$$, as a gift in return for the favor of the couple inviting you for the dinner.
And the 8th month in the lunar calendar is always the 'preferred' month for most of the Chinese weddings to take place where most of the auspicious dates often drop inside this month. Maybe it's becoz of the "fatt" factor of the 8. Coupled with the Mooncake Festival, the restaurants will be fully booked well ahead in schedule. I've heard stories of couples having to book a year ahead! Since the lunar calendar is normally a month earlier compared with Roman calendar, so it means this peak period you always find it between September and October. Red bombs will be flying around like nobody's business, and many will get hurt. I'm one of them, especially this year. :) I could understand though...coz my batch of friends mostly are at an age where marriage is the 'IN' thing to do!
Well, I can actually sense the 'red Bomb' coming my way somehow or rather. This is especially true when all of a sudden you have got a call or sms or email from a friend that hasn't shown on your phone display for a long time. Ok, Brothers and Sisters out there, I'm not implying anything here, alrite...dun get misunderstood. I feel honored to be invited by you all, and I'm more than happy to attend, but sometimes truth is truth right? So, the moment you read the message or email, where it is written very politely...with all the flowery languages, and all the nice words. But if you really want to see it in an Ultra-Negative way, all the flowery languages will change to this; "I wish you could attend my wedding so you could help me PAY for the dinner!"
Speaking of ang pow, this is the more interesting part. The first question that comes to the mind will be...how much should I put? Well, one thing I can be sure of is...the price is getting higher and higher these days. Of coz the *amount* varies according to the level of friendship or relationship between you and the one inviting you. Not to be forgotten is that it also depends on where the dinner is taking place. You can't expect to get good angpow rates if you're havin it in a village compared to big cities. A table of 10 in a five star hotel ballroom certainly cost more than a grand, while half a grand will suffice for a same table in suburb area. So, the *amount*, you'll have to do the calculation. Considering my current assets and net worth, a 100 bucks packet will put an "Ouch!" in my mouth. Anything greater than that...it'll burn a deep hole in my wallet. And a few of these hole burning exercise in a row, and I'll have to take bread for the remaining days of the month.
So, when the big day comes, you will dress yourself up smartly for the event, where theoretically, you go there to witness and celebrate that very important moment of your buddy. But I don't know why, through many years of localized culture or whatsoever, the wedding dinner has suddenly become a place for endless "Yum Seng" and crazy "karaOKE-ing" by some. Sometimes, I do think that the real meaning of wedding dinner has gradually lost especially now. I dare to challenge anyone...that half of the attendees do not know or worse still, don't even care about what is happening in the front stage during the ceremonies. What interests them may probably be how the next dish will look like, or they might be busy looking for that bottle of Chivas Regal.
And the worst experience for me is always this...having to endure all those "UnsToPPaBLE" uncles and auntys karaoke-ing the whole night. They'll hold on to the microphone the whole night singing endlessly one song after the other. Things will get even worse when the "Tai Kam Jeh" (emcee for a Chinese wedding) is also of the same gang of karaoke lovers. Then, the whole night changed to a horrible concert venue. Only difference is, you get food served while watching it, and secondly, 99% of the time, the singing skills of them...sigh...let's just skip that part okie? ;)
But at a recent wedding dinner of my ex coursemate in uni time, I still do have to endure these typical moment. Just that this time, I choose to see it in a funnier way to make my day feel better. I was taking a pic of my other coursemates where the LOUD speaker is just inches away from their table. One of them even have to close his ear with hand while posing for the camera! Of coz we didn't talk much on that table...just too difficult to hear what others are saying.
I'm not against singing anyway. Just not too much. And just make sure the "standard" is there LAH...That day, there is this one man who had way too much of Chivas Regal, and he started to sing on stage. Oh...I tell you...The out of beat singing, the "super-singing-POSE" of his, and his never ending persistence is really funny to look at. But anyway, everyone had a good laugh that night, and that may be the best part of the performance.
I really wish that the future wedding dinner I attend will have less of those karaoke-ing. It would surely be better if the emcee focus more on the more important ceremony. One of it is the scene where you get all the relatives of the couple to take a group photo and to toss the champagne together and celebrate. Coz at the end of the day, you're going to a WEDDING DINNER, not a concert, rite?
Congrats to those who is having married these few months. For those wedding dinners that I have attended, hopefully my ReDPacKet is acceptable LaR...