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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

RODDY LAY KEONG - CHIN CHU CEREMONY AT ONG KONGSI, PENANG


Chin Chu as we called it in Hokkien meaning a ceremony to place a tablet [sin chu] of the deceased in temples or clan houses [kongsi].  It is believed that when this is done for the deceased, the spirit would not be roaming the streets and there is a place where the family members can offer prayers there if they are not praying at home.  Even if his younger generations to come are to busy or forgotten to offer prayers at home, the spirit still has a place to go where there are food offerings and prayers during festive occasions such as Cheng Beng [Chinese All Souls Day], Hungry Ghost Festival, Winter Solstice or Chinese New Year eve.  This practice is quite common among Penang Chinese people especially those who have clan houses according to their surnames.  
Since my late brother Roddy was a lifetime member of the Ong Kongsi [clan house] in Penang, it is only appropriate that we place a tablet at the Ong Kongsi ancestral altar for him.  We also did the same for our grandparents and parents.  In this way, we believe that he would be with our grandparents and our father at the same place.
The ceremony was held only twice a year at the Ong Kongsi where there will be grand ceremony with  food offerings and prayers conducted by members [people having the same surname] of the clan house.  For this year, it was held on 12th day of 2nd lunar month and the next will be on 1st day of the ninth lunar month. 
This ceremony for Roddy was attended by his immediate family, brothers, sisters and nephews. 
With the his tablet interned in this Ong ancestral altar at Ong Kongsi [clan house] at Penang Road, Penang, it is forever.  His family and future generations can always visit this place to pay their respect to him anytime and especially during Chinese festive times or on the days mentioned above.
"REST IN PEACE
 LAY KEONG"

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