Chinese New Year

3 02 2009


I haven’t really celebrated the Chinese New Year in a long time. When I was a young lad, my parents used to buy me a whole new outfit for the special day(s) and we used to go visit relatives and friends who had ‘open houses’ in the 15 days of the CNY. It was a great time for kids and also those who were single as you got to collect what is called ‘Ang Pow’ or ‘Red Packet’. These packets are filled with money and how much you got depended on how well off the person you visited was. It was also determined by your relation to that particular person. It didn’t just stop at getting one red packet per household visited. Rule of thumb is that as long as you are married, you will have to shell out these packets to all the single people who you meet regardless of age. I suppose there are other goodies that I looked forward to as a kid during the CNY. Stuff like festive cookies and sweets and gambling. If you’re asian, you’ll understand the gambling bit. I was never really a gambler. I always managed to loose – all the time. 

Anyways, many years have passed since my childhood. I have almost forgotten how much we used to love CNY as kids. My cultural priorities have changed so much in the last 15 years that I think I’ve forgotten what its like to celebrate this occasion. But luckily there are other peeps in my situation. Malaysian and Singaporean kids who have chosen to make their lives in Melbourne and who are willing to sacrifice family traditions for whatever it is that we do here. 



Last night a small bunch of us had our version of CNY dinner. We had a traditional steamboat meal just north of Elizabeth St in the city. Can’t remember what the place was called now, and it wasn’t the greatest, but we still ate like pigs and were pretty content with the end result. As always, my laxness kicked in and I forgot to take pics of the meal before we started digging in, but you should be able to tell from the ‘during’ and ‘aftermath’ shots that we were pretty hungry. 

Anyways, I think that from now on, no matter where I happen to be, I will be making an effort to try and rekindle part of my culture. I can only avoid the fact that I’m married (for the sake of not handing out red packets) for so long. Maybe next year I can convince myself (and the wife) to have an ‘open house’…. now that will really make mum and dad proud. 




You know the food is probably gonna be authentic when the drinks don’t make sense at all…





One response

5 02 2009
Operative JP

He wo…… eh, ang pao gia lai eh peng you… you’re married… heheh

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