Serving tea during the traditional wedding tea ceremony is known as “pang teh” (Hokkien) or “chum char” (Cantonese). After serving tea to Wuan’s parents and my parent’s siblings, who are senior members of the family, we did the same for my mother’s cousins whom I also address as “ah kiu” and “ah yee” (uncles and aunts in Hakka).
Hakka, Hokkien and Cantonese dialects were used interchangably during the tea ceremony. People in Penang predominantly speak Hokkien. My maternal relatives, many of whom are from Balik Pulau are Hakkas. Wuan speaks Cantonese only and I have learnt to speak Cantonese at a young age. Dad is a Teochew but I can hardly speak a word of it. But we understood each other very well despite the different dialects used.
Kim Yee – Mum’s paternal cousin.
Chai Kiu – Mum’s paternal cousin.
Soon Kiu and Soon Kiu Meh – Mum’s paternal cousin and wife.
Ngah Kiu and Ngah Kiu Meh – Mum’s maternal cousin and wife.
Cecelia Yee and Yee Chong – Mum’s maternal cousin and husband.