Past few days, our entire Singapore nation is overwhelmed with grief over the passing of one of our most prominent founding fathers of the country, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. We are in National Mourning for a week. As I mentioned in my last post, Fun doodling with Mochi , my heart was heavy making lunches for my son. It has been trying for many of us these few days.
However, something magical and phenomenal happened since Monday which I have never witnessed before in my entire life living in Singapore, the unexplainable Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s effect (aka. LKY’s effect) on our people. People from all walks of life (poor, rich, disabled, elder, children, foreign workers, etc), some with differing views on the government, set aside their differences, came together in unity to pay respects to this Superhero of our nation, thats how I explained to Tz. I told him that Mr Lee is likened as a Superhero for a long long time by many people just like Captain American, Iron man, Batman…then he understood. There was unconditional outpour of emotions, actions and kindness from everywhere as the nation queue in orderly manner since yesterday round the clock, 24 hours, to see the Superhero, who is lying in state in the Singapore Parliament House , see http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/sporeans-turn-past-midnight-queue-and-pay-their-respects. Little heroes from nowhere popped up the whole day handing out free drinks and food to those in queue, amazing! I think this is the longest and orderly queue (its still happening at this moment as I pen this post) I have ever seen in Singapore or maybe Guinness World of Records worthy , some queued up to 8 hours. And I was one of them with Tz and friends. Many of them queue with no complaints, commenting that the long wait is nothing compared to LKY relentless contributions for the past 5 to 6 decades.
I went to give my little offering to Mr. Lee as a token of my appreciation for his lifetime work. Since his wife, Madam Kwa Geok Choo, passed away in 2010, Mr. Lee has drastically weakened right in front of our eyes on TV, withering from a tall strong man into a frail old soul. He has confessed that he could not gain weight ever since his wife died (Tearing up now as I am writing this). Mr Lee was a frugal and simple man even until this Monday. When he was on official overseas missions, he washed his own under pants in the hotel room or his wife washed for him when she was alive as he complained of the expensive hotel laundry charges. He had the privilege to live on the Istana grounds, our President home location, but he chose to live in his old home with his family , the furniture remains unchanged from the old days til now. He and his wife did not use modern shower to bathe, they scooped water up from a big old earthen pot like our great grand parents. Therefore, to commemorate his spirit of simple living, I made this very simple bento for him even though he would not able to eat it. We Chinese still offer food to the deceased, believing that their souls are still very much around to enjoy the food. So I would like to feed Mr Lee, fatten him up after life and let him have as much rice as possible as it was one staple he protected so well for his family during the Japanese Occupation.
I called it, Superhero LKY Bento:
Background – white rice
LKY icon (adapted from a popular icon circulating everywhere) – Nori
Singapore Flag – Crabsticks and fish cake
Garden City – Asparagus and coloured sushi shaped orchids
Decorated with fresh white daisies.
This is the most meaningful bento I have ever made and out of respect, we (Tz and I) brought it along with us and queued among my fellow Singaporeans to present this to LKY at the Parliament House.
Many still queuing at 10pm last night for their turn to pay their respects, average queuing time 3 to 4 hours.
This Sunday, 29 March 2015, is his cremation. It will be a very very difficult and sad day for all of us and LKY’s family. Mr Lee had requested in a note to his family a few years back to have some of his ashes mixed up with his wife’s ashes as how their mama would want it. Oh dear…. this is the Best Love Story of the Century……
PM LEE and family, please take care of yourselves, stay healthy and strong for your father.