Yin and Yang do not battle as opposites but represent a well-balanced harmony created by the positive ebb and flow of Chi through all things above and within the Earth. Balance sought by the give and take of symbiotic relationships is evident in all valid Yin and Yang pairings. Heaven and Earth. Woman and Man. Men and Women. Take a married couple, one a distinguished cook and all-around significant woman, the other a reputable author and fledgling businessman. Together they form a symbiotic relation balanced by their children, the joining of Yin and Yang. The woman, the Yin to his Yang, asked to help plan and prepare, with the help of her friends, a day of Traditional Chinese cuisine to nourish his twelve clients so that a marriage of ideologies will expedite merger of companies, agreed to plan and execute a meal rich in symbolism. The man, with his equal partners, agreed to craft, carefully, and delicately the entertainment for the day based upon Traditional Chinese Performers. We so desperately wanted them to ink the deal we held the finale on Chinese National Day, October 1st, to celebrate their culture at an unforgettable business occasion featuring the all important entertainment and a banquet style dinner.
Preparing a meal for a gathering is a delicate balancing act compared to a performance that one would see at a Chinese Circus. Think of all the acts going on combined on one plate to derive a flavourful, stimulated palate that makes the taste buds pop with the desire to take the next bite. The acrobats up high, symbolic of the Yin, who start the performance embody the hors d’oeurvres. The contortionist who balances flaming candelabrum near the end of the show is the epitome of the Yang of the Earth and represents the spices in each dish. Performers balancing various items on their heads, in their hands, and on their feet during the middle of the performance embody the meat of the meal symbolic of the division and union between the Yin and Yang. Tentative conclusion by a dessert course is the man who successively stacks chairs, one atop another, until he stacked them six high. He puts the fifth chair at an oblique angle and then boldly, and bravely balances one-handed on top.
Like the balancing act at the end of the performance, the Yin-Yang of a meal should harmonize through use of heaty and cooling foods. These terms, warmed or cooled in both cases, have little to do with the physical temperature of the foods each represent. Cooling foods in Traditional Chinese Medicine represent the Yin of food and take heat from the body leading to a detoxifying effect. Heaty foods in Traditional Chinese Medicine represent the Yang and will bring heat to the body. We wanted to balance the Yin and Yang within the meals, so we chose appropriate foods. To keep everyone nibbling during the discourse of our day, starting from the early morning on, we settled on several provisions. Foods such as potato chips, doughnuts, red meat, curries, ginger, garlic, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and cashews comprise examples of heaty foods we would eat. Sustenances such as green tea, oysters, broccoli, apples, bananas, watermelon, and almonds are examples of cooling foods we provided for our guests. We wanted to start the day with a Yin-Yang balanced breakfast and did our homework.
We decided on a traditional Chinese breakfast to be symbolic of the struggles of the little people, or people put in precarious places of power by those who wished to lord over them. Selected as the centrepiece of breakfast was You Tiao or the Chinese doughnut which is two strips of bread tied together to symbolize the joining of Qin Gui and his wife in the treacherous affair of executing General Yue Fei under the felicitous charge of Mo Xu You (could be or could be not guilty, but not necessarily innocent) so we could keep spirit with a true Chinese hero and show utmost loyalty and dedication to the Chinese people. Served with the doughnuts, also known as You Zha Gui or deep-fried ghost, was hot soya milk. The Yin of this combination is the soya milk and is symbolic of cooling foods that balance the Yang of the doughnut or the heaty foods. The day, accompanied by entertainment, commendably appreciated by our guests of honour, was now underway.
Planned entertainment started immediately at the commencement of the day. A local traditional Chinese performance group from the Ching Wu Athletic Association graced us with their extraordinary visit. The day started with a Lion Dance to welcome our special guests from the People’s Republic of China and to commemorate what both sides hoped would be a fruitful business deal. The Lion Dance, performed by senior students of the Kung Fu Academy, is symbolic of the Chinese New Year and chasing away the mythical monster Nian. The monster used to come to the village once a year when food was scarce and eat children, so the villagers tried to make the Nian leave in peace. They found the Nian to fear loud noise and the colour red, hence the red streamers and lanterns combined with the drums that accompany the performance. After the performance and meal we started the formal portion of the day… Negotiations.
Formal talks between both sides, reflective of the theme of the day, Yin-Yang, stressed patience and endurance. Desperately wanting to be trade partners with these magnificent representatives of the People’s Republic of China, who in the past brought papermaking, printing, the compass, and gunpowder to life was about to start. Spiff and polished in our business attire… Dressed to kill… Kill most of our fellow countrymen’s attitude towards the Chinese that had formed during the construction of the National Railroad in Canada. Wanting to reshape the attitude towards the People’s Republic of China and its Communist Government to promote understanding and cultural diversity in both realms, both sides entered the meeting room as equals. East meets West. West meets East. Before sitting down to formal negotiations, we passed out business cards by presenting them to each of our guests with both hands, and ensuring that the writing faces the recipient so they could be readily read.
To keep everyone nibbling during the discourse of our day, to keep up stamina, starting from the commencement of business dealings till the conclusion of affairs, we settled on several pleasures to please our guest’s tastebuds. Both heaty and cooling foods provided sustenance for our marathon style session, now taking place till the shindig at the conclusion of obligations. Almonds, dates, apple slices, Chinese-style spareribs, crab Rangoon, Chinese chicken wings, vegetable spring rolls, Asian lettuce wraps, and steamed pork buns were some fare to consume during the high level meeting of utmost relevance to North America as if general relativity mattered and to us as if specific relativity applied already. We devoured the disseminated information and the appetizers during a break where we watched the Ching Wu performers do a Dragon Dance.
The Dragon in Chinese lore represents wisdom, power, and wealth, and the purpose of the dragon dance is to scare away evil spirits and all the rotten luck they bring. Being the symbol of Imperial Authority, the Chinese consider the ruling Emperor to be the embodiment of the dragon. The performance will bring good luck and wealth to our combining empires, which will build better bridges for our Nation’s futures to join on common ground and negate the past tensions between our countries. Through expansion of business interests in both of our homelands we wish to achieve the unthinkable, the impossible, and the undeniable symbiosis that will prosper both nations and eventually engulf the Earth as a whole. The dance, enjoyed by both sides, concluded and business reciprocations resumed immediately as we felt the Feng Shui realignment allow a reciprocal flow of Chi through the rest of our day.
This realignment has promoted the positive flow of Chi through our combined peoples as if the wind-water relation between our two Nations healed throughout sustained and prolonged negotiations. We have, through openness, honesty, integrity, and honour restored the belief of each Nation in the other and will conclude business dealings on a high note sustained for infinity. Edge lighting replaced the low-key lighting of this morning and led to deals hinting at a collusion of Anishinabe and Chenoise movie shakers, players and makers. Textiles and garments will flow through Centerport for distribution throughout the Dominion of Canada, the United States of America, and the United Mexican States. Seemingly for the terrible children of North American societies as dictated by Santa Claus and his Naughty List, an uninterruptible and virtually inexhaustibility vast supply of coal for our combined power industries. Goddess stacked the deck and the Chinese received more aces than a deck can seemingly provide.
The People’s Republic of China received Four of a Kind, Aces High, during our dealings as the Governments of North America gave many concessions to the expansion and inclusion of Chinese rights to expand in their own ways throughout the continent. Home furnishings were a big grab for the not so greedy Chinese as they also latched on to the North American automobile industry, and some rights concerning sporting franchises of reputable interest like the NHL, NBA, MLB, and the NFL. Other side pots led to the formation of several ties within our equivocal countercultures concerning the legalization of medical and recreational drug usage within the People’s Republic. And the cherry on top of the Imperial Cookie was the garnering of contracts concerning their involvement in loosening restrictions towards freedom of information over the Internet for their people leading to donated shares in OneWeb. Leaving the table satisfied, but hungry for nourishment, they were ready to conclude business in a big way with a meal dedicated to the many historical accomplishments of General Yue Fei.
To start the meal, we have decided on a delicate Bao Su Wonton soup filled with pork wontons and seasoned with coriander, ginger, sweet corn, and red chilli peppers to promote an excellent reputation. As an alternate we will offer Tāngyuán or sweet round sticky rice balls in soup to symbolize togetherness and reunion. For the main courses we chose from the whole pantheon of vegetable, noodle, and meat dishes available throughout China. Examples of appropriately chosen dishes include Jiaozi, or Chinese Dumplings. We drew this dish from the Chinese New Year celebrations because of its gold ingot shape representative of prosperity, family unity, happiness, and delicacy. Cantonese pan fried noodles with chicken to symbolize longevity chosen for a supposed birthday for our combined countries. Chinese Lobster Sauce served with grilled chicken fingers to symbolize a long marriage of business ideals between our two countries was another choice. We choose Yoh as a brazed pomelo pith with shrimp roe to promote family unity and abundance. Finally, treats leave sweetness, the various traditional homemade Chinese Candies for a takeaway.
After a hard day’s night we all went to play at various popular nighttime haunts the City of Winnipeg offers our friends. Some went gambling at Winnipeg’s two Casinos, some went to the all night Movieplex, some went to explore the bar scene at many of Winnipeg’s prominent establishments, and some did it all. The consensus was that the Golden Week celebration cap-off had led to a new Golden Age for our now entwined familial feeling countries. Sisters and Brothers made in the kitchen and in the boardroom had led to a historical series of unions that would, in the immediate future, spark a whole new rapport between Nations that once thumbed each other’s eye. Both sides learned to give and take, to uphold the positive flow of Chi through reinforcement of the Yin-Yang, and that the natural flow of Feng Shui should have always been.