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It is almost the sticky rice dumpling festival time again which falls on the fifth month of the lunar calendar. In the past usually, when it was around these times, mine grandmother will then started to make this dish. However, in today times, a lot of the traditions are no longer like traditions whereby foods that are seasonal no longer become seasonals due to the demand and innovation from businesses like for instance a very classic example is durian, whereby durians are only available during certain periods of time but in today context, it became available almost throughout the years due to the demand, innovation is being altered genetically due to the demand from the consumers.

Well, in life, in every change there are always pro and con pending on how we visualized it. Like the case above, the pro is that we no longer have to wait for the durian to fall and eventually in terms of the price context it will become cheaper naturally as supply will be more abundant. The con, we no longer felt the joy of the atmosphere of going around seeking for the foods and fighting for it. These totally change what it is like to eat durians compare to now and the past. It creates a bonding, not just about the consuming it but we are missing out the elements of the ambiance of the fruits due to the fact that it was only limited for that period of time.

Back to zongzi. Zongzi in tradition are wrapped in bamboo leaves of the lotus or banana leaves in our region here. Basically, these leaf imparts its own unique aroma and flavor to the rice.  The rice used is always glutinous rice. The rice then lightly precooked by stir-frying or soaked in water. The filling may be varied, some can be sweet and some tend to be savory or salty; for the salty part, they may include duck eggs, pork belly, shredded pork or chicken, sausage, water chestnut, shiitake mushrooms and even peanuts.

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Zong Zi – Dumplings 

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The inside of the Zong Zi

The belief of the zongzi from the research on the net. That the Chinese eating zongzi is to commemorate the death of the Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived during the Warring States periods known for his patriotism. Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansion of the Qin neighbors. When the Qin general Bai Qi took Ying du, the Chu capital. Qu Yuan grief was so intense that he drowned himself into the Miluo River after penning the Lament for Ying. According to the legend, packets of rice were then thrown into the river to prevent the fish from eating his body.