While visiting my sister-in-law sometime in April this year, she showed us a Chinese tea basket where traditionally, the teapot and some cups were kept. The basket was generously padded to keep the tea hot as long as possible. She said that the set was a gift from a gal pal who traveled to Hong Kong often.
The sight of the basket brought me back to my early childhood when I used to watch the elders in the family go through their daily tea rituals. My grandmother on my father’s side was pretty traditional Chinese.
I remember being about three years old when I visited with my grandmother once. I watched a housekeeper bring out the tea basket to the living room to serve tea to my grandmother and her two guests. They were these well-dressed women in perfect silk cheongsams, with their hair neatly tucked back into a tight chignon at the nape of their necks, and their beautiful earrings dangled from their delicate ears. They wore very little make-up except for ruby-red lipstick.
The tea was served by the housekeeper with her right hand. The guests were served first and my grandmother last. The women would lift the cups in unison gracefully with long manicured fingers and touch the tip of the cup to their lips. Then they would sip slowly and quietly before putting down the cup on the table. I was so fascinated by the entire ritual.
On several occasions I tried to steal the basket to explore its contents. I promise that I did not break anything, ever. My mother was so amused that once, when she returned from a trip to Hong Kong with my father, she came home with a toy tea set for me! Complete with its own basket. When my cousins would come to visit us, we’d play the pretend tea ritual too.
This post was inspired by the Daily Post Prompt by Michelle W.: Toy Story Do go and see what others may have come up with!