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The August Moon

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Wei Wei is four. His sister Wing is six. Yet this evening they will be running round our mall waving strange shaped lanterns until past midnight. Their parents will have purchased these lanterns because the lanterns that Wei Wei made at kindergarten were of traditional design but Mr and Mrs Leung are modern parents with huge hopes for their perfectly behaved, cutesy off-spring. Wei Wei has a space ship lit by a battery powered bulb while Wing has a large flower of indeterminate pedigree. Mr and Mrs Leung will take hundreds of photographs of their two children this evening, just as they did last year and the year before and will again next year.

On the beach teenagers will sit, doe eyed, she with her head resting on his slight shoulder. They will say little. Any passing westerner will marvel at the evident self control. No boyish hands will slide silently up young thighs, no girlish tongue will play in his mouth. There will be no groping, no ‘inappropriate behaviour’ and no alcohol. The younger teens will be at a barbecue site sitting patently clutching long aluminium forks with chicken thighs impaled thereon, or strange red sausages hanging, smoke black, from the tines.

They will remain thus, the young teens and the older ones until midnight or later or when sleep through heavy lids should beckon. The moon hangs, rich golden and full and tales of maidens who inhabit it will regale the young and grandmothers will frighten children with tales of super natural and the children will run to the safe knee of a parent. Young boys, hardly old enough to be defined will be treated as little emporers and smaller sisters will watch in the sure knowledge that as father adores her sibling so must she. Always. For life.

Such is the ancient and modern that these special days underline.
Teahouse of the August Moon still exists in the Hollywood memories of visitors and young love softly takes the air. Tomorrow is a holiday and sleep will last til late before eager parents whisk families off to see the ancients, the aunts, uncles and distaff side grandparents. And we the lookers-on will read the papers, kick off our shoes and sleep while Fred and Ginger skim across the glass that binds them. We will be filled with roast beef, roast potatoes and good red wine and all things from home and waiting for the next incomprehensible celebration.

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