27 Jan 2013

From Dragon to Snake

You know what? I think it's time to deviate away in content for a little bit, even if it means two posts on the same day. I don't want to just blog about my time in national service!

I guess it'll be convenient to touch on Chinese New Year festivities, since it's coming up shortly in two weeks. The first ever public holiday of 2013 after New Year's Day! Most superstitious Chinese don't really treat this as a good time for romance and baby-making though. After the big boom in the previous year of the Dragon, the upcoming year of the Snake would expect to see dips in births. Still that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the ushering in of a new lunar year. Fresh starts are always welcome.

Though this time, I think the celebrations with the family members may be more muted. The thrill and novelty of family reunions seem to be running thin. In fact it might make for a more enjoyable celebration if we went outdoors going sight-seeing, taking in the festive sights and sounds, especially on the eve of the first day.

Perhaps that's what more Chinese are doing spending the occasion nowadays. It's becoming more common for a Chinese to find him/herself away from home, away from family, away from the familiar dining table. So apart from possibly videoconferencing with family members for some virtual family reunion dinner, it wouldn't hurt to appreciate the outdoor performances like the lion/dragon dancers. Even if we're away from kin, we can still celebrate together with other members of the racial community.

I wonder if I'll find myself in such a similar spot. If I end up, say, in a job that requires me to work in a completely different country, and I can't come back for reunions, would my family be okay with that? Would I be okay with that?

That's another problem to mull over much later.

Besides there are other great things that come with the CNY celebrations, one of which is the food of course. On no other occasion do I find myself eating pineapple tarts, love letter biscuits and bak kwa. And there's the reunion dinner itself too.

It's almost like a Chinese version of Christmas. Except that presents are replaced by oranges or red packets with money, depending on which side of the exchange you're involved in.

Sigh... now I really wish I could time-warp to the near future, and find myself waking up on Saturday morning just before the Chinese New Year starts...