Feb 5, 2008

Ratting out: Chinese New Year

It's been a while since I have access to computer/internet - well, it's only a few days. I'm back in downtown for a private family affair- surprisingly this year's celebration is more livelier than I thought it would. But like the saying goes, "Not all that shines is gold"- couldn't have put it better myself since this annual auspicious celebration is always associated with wealth, gold, prosperity etc... Indeed, if you think this is just merely a celebration of feasting (read: yee sang, the list goes on), riches (read: angpau), or family get together, think again- you might be in for something a little more than that. Take this as a pre-warning from me. :x

My post entitled, Ratting out- CNY. What could be a better title if not rats, well it is the year of rat- or if you want a nicer term for rat- okay, mouse. Give and take, por favor. Ratting out- well, this could be an insight of a chinese family celebrating CNY- so I, as the rat (although I'm really a dragon :p) will literally "rat"/ share my insight with you.

Come all these festivities, Malaysians are "experts". Grand open houses, lavish decorations, extravagant spending, well, let's just say MORE IS indeed MORE here when it comes to celebrations, in this case Chinese New Year. All these years, as a kid (I'm no more a kid now), I never bothered- took for granted of the real meaning of all these celebrations. Like how a kid expect Santa to deliver her Christmas presents, I thought it would an automatic process where family gather together to celebrate- as one big, happy family. There'll be excessive eating, gambling, drinking, fellowship- but it's all good, because we're doing it as a family.

I realized a few years ago- when my older cousins grew up and went overseas to work, and when the elders in the family- namely my grandmother, uncles passed away. Christmas isn't Christmas, Chinese New Year seemed dull- I wasn't looking forward to it anymore. Through my observation, the elders in the house hold the family together. They make it or they break it. Now I know- family doesn't stay as a family when there is no need to. Speaking of wearing masks, all the "family togetherness" that I've known all my life- well, they were just nothing but just masquerades. It was disappointing at first- I often question myself and my parents, but there were no answers- or to be exact, not the answers I want to hear. I'm not going start wallowing in self-pity now, uh huh.. :/

Anyways, as I was saying Chinese New Year is all just Gong Xi Fa Cais and harmless fellowships? I humbly beg to differ. Let me share with you some interesting lines exchanged during family gatherings (gathered from personal experience, friends etc)

"Oh, how big (for some who are just, well, "direct!": fat) you've grown? Good life, eh?"

"How old are you, boyfriend? Getting married? When?"
(read: usually a follow-up from the previous question)

(in a restaurant) "Let me pay this time (Takes out wallet)"
usually struggle for some time until the other party pays. (*rolls eye)

"So how's business? (*laments about how bad the economy is) -
The "cold water" people, I call them.

(Eyeing your house, car etc) " Ooo, is that new? Wow, must have COST a LOT.
(put on newscaster mode, and talk about the rising crime rates)

Note: Darn annoying isn't? Okay, I exaggerated a few, but you never know what these people are capable of...

I haven't given up on family gatherings yet, it's still something that I look forward to- as for trouble makers, and mood spoilers, I just ignore them- give them half-hearted attention, after all, we belong to one big, happy family- Chinese saying of crossing the line, "Step on one's tail". Yeah, don't. That's all.

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year. May you grow in health (wealth=health ;p),and may big opportunities come your way in whatever you do, take time off for your family, for those starting your family planning soon, Rat year is a good year (take my word for it :D) God Bless. :)

2 spoken:

Raising Mercury

masquerade! indeed, thats how i feel family gatherings are sometimes =) even during hari raya i get my fair share of... oh, sihat ye?? (in other words, man...youve put on weight!)..hahha, thats the one i hate the most to be honest.. but i totally get what you mean =) its all a big show, nobody really knows each other well enough to talk about more serious matters or things with more substance..its just light talk all the way =) WHICH I MIGHT ADD i think is a lil sad =( because it goes to show how NOT close families are nowadays =( i live in Johor but my extended family is all in KL, its pretty difficult to meet up apart from the holidays. I try not to complain, because i guess its part of the good daughter duty.. but at least i know im not the only one! do have a good year yeah? oh... i think i stumbled on your blog from someone else's link..hehhe, thx for sharing your thoughts! hugss..


raising mercury: I'm glad you felt the same. I'm sure most of us would feel the same. Thanks for commenting! :) Have a great year too!

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