Celebrating Chinese New Year – According to Me

Ah, Chinese New Year. Or Lunar New Year, as it’s more commonly known in the rest of the world. ‘Tis another season of travelling and feasting. Homes are filled with the happy cacophony of relatives and visitors. And for 15 days, red is the new black. In fact, don’t even think about wearing black!

When I was planning this post, I reflected on my experience of Chinese New Year growing up. The truth is, the celebration was always a mix of joyful memories, uncomfortable moments and learning to laugh at yourself.

For me, Chinese New Year is when:

1. You’re reminded of the goals you’ve yet to achieve

It’s a painful ritual: Smiling and pretending I understand what my 10th granduncle is saying. Then when he realizes what’s going on, he’ll ask the dreaded question, “Cannot speak Mandarin? Hokkien also? Cannot, must learn!” I try to appease his horror by promising to learn soon. But next year comes, and I still haven’t made good on that promise. Repeat.

Oh well. At least I’ve gotten pretty good at visual communication. I think. (For the record, I’m finally putting some effort in learning the language. Yay me!)

Continue reading