Chan Kah Chuen

by Eunice

“As the floating clouds scattered
And the bright moon shines upon the arriving folks,
Today is the most happy of all reunions
With clean shallow ponds,
mandarin ducks playing in the water,
and red skirts and emerald caps,
The devoted married couple
resembles a double lotus flower blooming.

In pairs, full of grace and love,
a mutual love rises between the spouses;
As the soft wind blows
toward the beautiful flowers,
blowing on the good flowers,
It is full of warmth and affection
between the people”.


- Blooming Flowers Full Moon (Yue Yuan Hua Hao), Zhou Xuan

Have you ever felt the epiphany of knowing that everything is in the right place and the right season?

That evening, as we stood on the balcony, by the glistening lakes of Saujana, we witnessed a delightfully charmed crowd, outstandingly proud parents and an immensely blissful couple that reassured our senses on the epiphany moment we collectively felt until this very day.

As we watched the little pieces come together in bringing the Chan Kah Chuen (the Chan village) to life, it was more than just a curated chinoiserie moodboard and ticking the items off our checklists. It was a village bathed in harmony, a flourishing one filled with an abundance of grace to share, prosperous with overflowing generosity, lavished with the colours of traditions, brimming with delighted chatters over a gallore of hawker talks and cultural walks and a lustre of gleaming smiles and high praises.

The exquisite reception of Alex and Tanya in all its bursting oriental pride was nothing less than a true celebration to behold; one that honoured the roots, preserved meaningful traditions practiced over generations and upheld the given respect for the Malaysian Chinese culture and heritage. Often times, we take for granted the simplest, fundamental practices our forefathers have set before us, giving urbanization an upper hand in stripping these values away and casting a sheen of ignorance and disrespect that cripples our society in recognizing the importance to retaining our treasured legacies. Here at their reception, we are truly honoured to be given the opportunity to relive and retell these stories and legacies forgotten.

Paying homage to what brought them here today, Alex and Tanya’s reception hosted a beautiful and meaningful display of their lineage and childhood photos, a walk of ‘Honour’ through the ages and seasons in their lives.

As friends and family of the Loosleys, Leighs and Chans took their time to savour and take in the overwhelming spectacle that greeted them, Alex and Tanya stole a precious moment to themselves, snugly dressed in matching Chinese traditional outfits of qun kwa and samfu. The speckle of jade in her gold hair pin perfectly matched her gentle sea-glass eyes and her beau definitely pulled off the dragon-embossed black costume well, much to his delighted grins. In that pause, we saw their raw emotions of assurance, even in a land that seemed foreign to them, that they were still very much home.

It truly hit us in the spot, to see the party dolled up in oriental prints, donned with intricate cheongsams and Chinese elements all around. It showed effort, and it reflected acceptance. You never really can fathom how beautiful the culture can be until you see it on one from another culture, and it makes everything worth being part of this. 

As a part of Alex is rooted in this home and his side of the family shares the windows to the Chinese roots in hosting the Chan Kah Chuen, it became an amalgamation of purpose-filled morals and experiences that life has to offer.

The spot-on choice of reception at Ti-Chen added flair and created the perfect ambience, paving way for the limelight on the amazing ‘village’ spread alongside the lake. In attempt to recreate the olden times where the markets and street vendors in villages traded right beside a canal, Saujana’s impeccable location provided just what was needed: A rustic wooden patio overlooking a serene and tranquil lake, accompanied by the occasional gentle trickles amidst the majestic landscapes and the light melodious plucking of the gu zheng. Piercing through the rhythmic babbles that evening was a buzz of chatters, unrestrained laughter and honest jaw-dropping gasps of the curated spectacle.

In depicting ‘Wisdom’, the skillful calligrapher’s swift and artistic strokes beckoned to throngs of astounded guests as he showered them with a multitude of Chinese proverbs rich in heritage and goodwill. The neighbouring stall for ‘Kau Cim’ equally attracted a buzz as family and friends lined up to write their well wishes and bestowed good fortune upon the happy couple.  

The single most important takeaway of the quintessential Malaysian Chinese heritage would never be complete without the sinful gastronomic spread of food, and what better way to incorporate the love for that than a cozy little sundry booth, overflowing with ‘Abundance’, with each sack filled to the brim of daily staples, local delights, old school treats and a dozen of other alluring bites.

As the evening drew closer and the tealights cast a warm, inviting glow over the high-intricate beams of the Eastern-oriental restaurant, augmenting the well-flourished tablescapes dressed in fine China, bespoke tassled stationery and potted fleur in bold reds and gaily tangerine hues, the invited clan had all eyes on Tanya as she waltzed in her stunning red qipao with lace bodice to teary eyes and awed gazes, not long before the captivating silence was broken by the unmistakable clanging of the boisterous lion dance, ushering all the prosperity and longevity one can receive in a lifetime.

That night, the entire experience brought together struck a chord within us and everyone else in that room; where nothing else mattered more than the profound presence and love a family can offer, to remembering and carrying on legacies, and to relearning once again that home is wherever the heart is.

"Home is the beginning of a journey to seek and wander, and home will also always be the last pitstop, a safe haven to return to from that journey.
No matter how far you go, your home is deep in my heart".

To Alex and Tanya,
Gan Bei

Vendors’ Credit List
Venue : Ti-Chen Restaurant, Saujana Hotel
Planning & Coordination : Moments
Decor : Dayco inspiration
Photos : Arch and Vow
Video : Bean Pictures
Make up artist : Winson Kow Artistry
Emcee : Douglas Lim
Lion Dance : Kun Seng Keng
Kwa and Cheong Sam : Jason Yek