Sunday, October 31, 2010

The New Age Giveaway

Saw this neat package on the dining table last night when we got home after dinner at the Club. Wrapped in two layers of pink and red netting and adorned with rosebuds made of crepe paper, it looked like a gift of some sort.

Assumed it was Ann's because only she was around; Awwa had gone to spend the weekend with her grandmother in PJ, Joe was still in flight from Tokyo whilst Naj was at either at work or at his Muay Thai class.

The package turned out to be a starter kit for an herb garden, this particular one for parsley. Upon unwrapping found a plant pot, with three packets containing seeds, fertilisers and potting mix each nestled inside.

It was not until Ann returned from dinner later that I learned the package was actually a bunga telur (gift for guests at Malay weddings). Truly a New Age wedding giveaway, this.

The traditional "bunga telur" usually comprises one boiled egg (either plain or boiled with spices and called "telur pindang"), the shell of which is then dipped in red colouring.

The egg is either wrapped in decorative netting or crepe paper, or placed in dainty baskets or pretty little boxes, and adorned with ribbons, beads and stuffs.

I have attended hundreds of weddings over the years and have received all manners of bunga telur in place of the egg.

They ranged from chocolates in expensive, frivolous packaging like faux faberge, silk pouches or petite porcelain cups, to cupcakes or cake squares in dinky, beribboned boxes decked with colourful beads, to candies and sweets, traditional tidbits and facial towels packed in your standard printed mini paperbags.

Once, at the wedding of the daughter of a friend (owner of a publishing house) a couple of years back, Muslim guests each received a copy of beautifully printed and packaged palm-sized translation of the Quran.

Custom-made or mass-produced, it is not so much the gift that counts; it's the spirit in which it is given that matters the most.

Be that as it may, the aforementioned New Age bunga telur is indeed a charming idea. It's almost like a political statement; not surprising given that the newlyweds are dedicated, eco-conscious 'greenies'.

To Ann's buddy Nurul Alis and her husband Qa'is Abdullah (James Mitchell) who tied the knot in Gombak yesterday, Selamat Pengantin Baru, guys...

Looks like an herb garden is in the offing at the Abus with this starter kit. A row of potted herbal plants lining the balcony would definitely make a good conversation piece...


D said...

Wow... besarnya 'bunga telur'!! hehehe! My dad's a conservative as he insists that we should give away eggs at the wedding, and not sweeties or the likes. It's a symbol of fertility! :)

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
I love herbs! Been helping Mama planting them in our garden in the sky. Hey...we even have pokok limau purut and daun kari, OK? And while you're at it, purrrlease plant some catnips for my darling Lillie and Jules. How are they? Lama tak dengar cerita about them. purrr...meow!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Personally, I don't think giving out organic fertiliser is appropriate on such an occasion, but that's only me tho :)

Kama At-Tarawis said...

D - I have to say that I am pretty old school with regards bunga telur. I think when the time comes, I'll probably stick to tradition. Then again, there is no reason why one shouldn't innovate or think out of the box. It's just a matter of preference..

Cat - the only thing we have growing in the pot at home is daun pandan (screwpine). Serai will probably follow suit. I like the idea of a herbal garden though.. Lillie and Jules are keeping well, thank you. I'll post their pixs soon..

Tommy - you and are are from the same era, that's why. At the recent Chinese wedding I attended with Pak Abu, the giveaway were some kind of buns with lotus seed filling and custom-made candle with Chinese characters imprinted on it. I like 'em buns.. they tasted great..

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Kama, I am very impressed reading your profile. Outstanding!
And enjoy your eloquence this posting.
I can imagine how very exciting and interesting it must have been during those days of a journalist.

At one time I had thoughts of being either a lawyer and being involved in criminal law or be a journalist.
Somehow circumstances led me towards the business world.

I still think it was. must have been JR Ewing of that TV series 'Dallas' that had some influence on me, of the 'wheelin' and dealin'.

You have a pleasant week and keep a song in your heart. Best regards, Lee.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Uncle Lee - thank you for such kind words, good sir. I am thankful to God for giving me this talent to write; I'm hopeless elsewhere. I admire ppl with business sense, who can 'wheel n deal' with panache. The only wheel I can cope with is the steering wheel.. :-D