Ching Ming - Chinese Memorial Day
My Dad Edward Hong Mock
Mock Yuke My Grandfather 1863 - 1939
Today is Ching Ming, the day when the Chinese sweep the graves of their ancestors and make offerings of food. The San Francisco Chinese Family Associations still honor this tradition and bring crispy Shew Yuk (roast pork) for distribution to its members at the local Chinese cemetery. We called it Chinese Memorial Day.
In the late forties or early fifties, my father, in memory of his father Mock Yuke, performed this ritual. At the gravesite, he burned incense and made offerings of chicken and poured wine on the ground. My grandfather was then buried at the sad and neglected Chinese cemetery in Fresno, CA.
In the 1950's, the local Fresno Chinese community was a dwindling group. US immigration laws has separated the families of the Chinese American diaspora by time and distance. Forgotten bachelor men whose elusive dream of returning to China rich were buried in a barren cemetery of only dirt and weeds without families to honor them. Some memorial plaques were only shards of wood, the Chinese writing long faded. Later my grandfather was moved to my hometown cemetery in Reedley, CA. My father Edward Mock is now buried next to him in Reedley as well as my Uncle James Mock. Once an abstract occasion honoring unknown ancestors, its much more meaningful now. So long Dad, its been good to know you. From your son, Larry.
April 18, 2011 Update: Last night Mom was in a reminiscing mood. She doesn't talk alot about my Dad, but last night she said it simply, "He was a good man." I couldn't agree more.
4/15/2011 07:23:26 am
The essence of your papa's sweet and gentle spirit is embraced in your words..
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