Just got back from a short break visiting my relatives for Chinese New Year. That said, a very happy CNY to all who are celebrating, Chinese or not. Today’s Day 3 (*groans* I ate lots of bak kwa for lunch – Google it, you’ll need to jog for hours to burn that one off). That gives you another 12 days to go scavenging for more angpows or red packets. Go!
Chinese New Year doesn’t feel the same anymore, though we still look forward to the short breaks annually. We used to be decked in the brightest of colours (those photos still make me cringe) and travel hours to our grandmother’s old zinc-roofed house in Malaysia for our reunion dinners. However, the children have all grown up and the grandparents have all left this world for a better place and the adults are all very tired, so CNY in recent years means sleep-in days.
I have mixed feelings about this loss of tradition. I’m guilty of wearing dark colours and cleaning out my wardrobe and cleaning the toilet on the auspicious day because doing all these will apparently diminish your chances of having a $50 note fall from the sky when you’re walking down the street. Wearing dark colours is also disrespectful to the elders because you’re only supposed to wear those during funerals. However, it is also a welcome relief for difficult teenagers like me, mainly because bright colours are too piercing for my eyes (more so because they don’t complement my skin colour) so I only wear those pieces of clothing less than 5 times before chucking them to the back of the cupboard. I’m also glad that we don’t have to sit in the car for 5 hour and have uncles and aunts criticizing our fashion sense and hairstyles and asking pointed personal questions (I’m glad I’m still too young for the “Are you dating/When are you getting married?” part).
Of course, the best part of CNY to us children are the red packets, filled with cold hard cash (I swear this made us the materialistic people we all are now). Even babies grin when presented with one. For the married adults, this is an annual headache as you spend up to thousands of dollars on other people’s children. Nah, I was just exaggerating (but I did hear someone complaining about this on national radio, tsk). Giving and receiving red packets is an enjoyable affair and my single aunts are the ones who hand us the bumper packs (Note to self: buy more chocolates for certain people).
That’s all, folks! Hope you had a great weekend and to those who celebrated, I hope it went well for you.
新年快乐，万事如意！恭喜发财，财源广进！(I’ve finally figured out how to type Chinese on this laptop, bless me)
I’ll see you all soon. Exams are coming.