• Panni Loh

Peacock for the Year of the Ox


The Lunar New Year began on Friday February 12th, the first new moon of the lunisolar calendar celebrated in many East Asia countries including China, South Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia, which completed the series of Painting Birds for Children and Young People course i have been leading. I decided to have the Peacock as the bird of choice for the new year as it symbolises beauty and is also a representation of the Goddess Kuan Yin-Goddess of Compassion that is key to how we are with one another and our home the Earth.


Not only was I busy preparing for the children's art course, but also doing customary cleaning of the house, this year a self hair cut and LOTS of COOKING! Especially because of lockdown various whatsapp groups I am in were brimming with how to celebrate the new year-normally a time of getting together with wider family and friends. An obvious topic was cooking for those in our bubbles. There were various discussions about favourite new year foods and i voiced mine as turnip cake.


Turnip cake is not sweet. It's a comforting steamed savoury cake which i had previously only eaten before. I discovered it took lots of chopping and stirfrying the white radish, dried mushrooms, shrimps, scallions, shallots and Chinese sausage.






The next stage was beating together the rice flour, wheat starch, corn starch and water before mixing everything together and patting it into a tin to steam. The steaming took at least an hour.


But that was only the turnip cake made. We also had dumpling ingots for wealth, as well as Chicken and Chinese Leaf which sound like wealth, lettuce sounding like money making, so it might sounds like lots of focus on wealth but there are many forms of wealth and to have food resources, one's health and living with loved ones or seeing those in your bubble is wealth.


Creativity comes in many forms sometimes it's painting, sometimes cooking, gardening, relationships and there are many other ways of being creative and it seems in this year of the ox that just like the ox it is a case of keeping on doing as much positive as we each can and showing compassion to one another.

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Artist - Panni Poh Yoke Loh

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