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Asia CommentTaipan

The cycles of the moon(cake)

I've recently learnt the four Rs of life: reduce, reuse, recycle and regift

I met a banker friend for a casual dinner just before the mid-Autumn festival in Hong Kong. Like every year, before I went, Tai Tai reminded me several times to take a box of mooncakes with me, in adherence to Chinese tradition.

I was glad I did, as my friend also brought me a box of mooncakes. So at the end of a boozy dinner, we happily exchanged our mooncakes and headed home.

But it was only when I got home that I realised that the mooncakes I had received were not as generic as they looked at first glance. The corner of the box had a special mid-Autumn festival message from a bank — just one where my friend does not work.

I pointed out the oddity to Tai Tai, expecting her to be as miffed as I was that the chap had so obviously regifted me mooncakes that a client had given him. But Tai Tai responded with peals of laughter.

She told me that it is an open secret among the Chinese community that mooncake regifting is the norm. People receive too many mooncakes during the festival season to eat themselves, so they merely regift their mooncakes to the next person. Most people are just more careful than my friend to hide the fact.

Upon reflection, I suppose I don't mind having a regifted box of mooncakes. It is best not to waste, after all.

So to all our readers: if you have any unopened, unfinished or gifted bottles of fine whisky lying around, you know who to call.

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