When we were kids, we always looked forward to Chinese New Year with great excitement and anticipation. Somehow, the flurry of activities around us - my granny making cakes and cookies, stocking up sodas and candies, spring cleaning and hanging decorations around the house - never failed to put everyone in a joyous mood.
Maybe it had something to do with the kampung (village) spirit that was highly infectious, even the air felt different in the weeks leading to the Chinese New Year. It is hardly any surprise for it signifies the start of the Spring Festival where everything comes to life. It's a happy festival, a time for family reunion and celebrating with friends.
As we grew up and moved out, that convival spirit diminished as we became burdened with work and family life. My first Chinese New Year as a single parent was the hardest. For the first time in my life, the kids spent part of the holidays away from me. When they were away with their father, I felt lost and lonely. They were sad and miserable.
I stayed in my room when relatives came visiting to avoid answering questions or discussing about my life. For some reprieve from the crowd, I even went camping with CH at the rustic Pulau Ubin island which was strangely quiet the last 2 years we were there.
This year, I wonder if it is still necessary for me to go on that little retreat. I'm pretty sure nobody will ask so many questions anymore. Even if they do, it wouldn't bother me at all. Maybe I'll go hiking with CH instead. We need to burn off those extra calories anyway.
Actually if not for the new apartment in renovation, me and hubs would probably go away for the Chinese New Year. You should know of some super caring (aka nosey relatives). When I was not married, they would keep asking when I was settling down. Now that I am married, they would be sure to ask when I am having kids!
I know it's out of good intentions, but some questions can really corner me if they were asked in front of a big group of relatives.
Precisely. I can totally understand. Well meaning relatives have already suggested I should remarry while I'm still young and attractive. And while I am still productive. Chey...
My exact sentiments!!! I can even hear what your relatives would be saying! Here in the east, concerned relatives would very often take the gathering of Chinese New Year to impart their well-wishes to us. I can anticipate how many relatives asking me when I am planning to have a baby already! Haha, me and hubs are planning the most minimal courtesy appearance for such occasion and opportunity. Maybe we would only appear on the first day. Then disappear after that. And hey, maybe we would go hike or cycle in Ubin or even camp overnight. We did that once and simply loved it!
I usually hang around on the first day because my brothers will come visit my parents. Second day onwards, we would be out at some ulu place. Who knows, we may bump into you guys!
Hold on a second, you think you can run away from me?
Now, sit down, I want to know ALL ABOUT YOU!
What time you sleep?
What time you wake up?
How many cups of coffee you drink in a day?
Why is SK getting so tall?
What is YK doing?
ehehe - big evil grin! :)
Ha ha. If MOTHER HEN is coming to visit, I'm sit at home and wait like a good little chick. I'll serve lots of tea and goodies and answer all your questions. :-)
As you guys here have commented, well-meaning family members do get annoying. And all that pleasantries and rituals can get tedious.
So luckily for me, after my family migrated to Perth I've only had mild celebrations here. And although I may go back to Malaysia every so often, I'd make sure to not go during CNY. :D
Mooiness - You're lucky to be living in Perth. I can imagine you would be bombarded with all kinds of questions and your aunties will be jostling to be match-makers!
There is bond to have something to qns every year. Now that I have 2 kids n both boys. The relative will start to ask when to have a gal? Its endless lah.
Hope you are coping better now.
I've got to go clean up my coke bottles now... aiyo... so much to clean :(
Yah, Janice. I used to get this question too.
Now my kids get so embarrassed when relatives say "Wah, so big already!"
They'll hide in their room too.
I love Chinese New Year!!! I can't wait until next week! Food, fun and family.
WEll meaning relatives and friends AND workmates... ARGH!
I've hidden in back rooms, or behind shelves in the supermarket, to avoid people like that. was single till age 38 which is considered weird for my part of the world! (semi-rural South Africa)
Here's something to cheer you up. :-) I think you've truly earned this award:
Ahhhh...yeah...I know what you mean. Chinese New Year is a good time to meet our relatives, but then again it's a good time for our relatives to ask questions. Gladly usually my relatives never ask questions. They just chit-chat about this and that...no biggie.
Just yesterday when I called Mom, she said that when she bought a special Chinese New Year snack, she remembered me...'coz I loved that snack SO much HE HE HE HE...
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