I ♥ my family.
I may not spend a lot of time with them, but I cherish their presence whenever they’re around and I’m silently supporting everything they do. They have a special spot in my heart. Deep down inside I wish we would all meet up and hang out more often. But I understand that everyone has their own lives to lead. Everyone’s always so busy.
When I was growing up, mamma always drills this fact into my head: That if you don’t have family, then you have naught.
Chinese New Year used to be all about Ang Pao money and snacks to me as a kid.
Getting teased by my relatives for being chubby. Have my grades compared to my cousins. Watch my elder brother get hounded by aunties and uncles about getting married. And eating so much till I go into a food coma. Somewhere along the way I realized Chinese New Year is so much more than that.
…Things were different this year. I realized that I am 20 now. I realize that my younger cousins, whom I swore were only 8 years old just yesterday, are now teenagers and have grown up so fast.
As for the older ones, they just keep getting older. It breaks my heart to see my old aunties and uncle getting older and more frail. Especially my grandmother, because she is the only grandparent I am actually relatively close to. It makes me think about how some day they are going to be gone, and that Chinese New Year would be so quiet and different without them. In fact, I don’t see any point in celebrating it if they’re not around. They are all I know of family.
Every other year, I get annoyed by the same thing. By how all my Asian relatives talk in the top of their voices in the crudest language / dialect I have ever heard (Hokkien) and it sounds like a crazy market. They make such a ruckus, it makes my head explode. Then again I guess that’s how all old Asian people are. They have no normal speaking voice. It’s either not saying anything at all, or shouting at the top of their voice just to get their point across. This year, however, I enjoyed soaking up all that noise. I know I’ll miss it when I don’t get to be annoyed by it anymore.
That I’d rather a ruckus and being surrounded by kinship while it lasts, than loneliness. Being a kid on Chinese New Year is the best freakin’ thing ever. Just eat and eat and look cute and have relatives pinch your cheeks and stretch out your hand to receive your red packets filled. “Gong xi fa cai!” were the easiest words I’d ever uttered to receive free money.
Reunion dinner was at my uncle’s place. Everyone was dressed down so I didn’t think it was too polite to take pictures, thus this is all I have. It was so good though!!! Grandma’s cooking is the best. She makes my favorite dishes that I’ve grown up eating. The taste of familiarity is so comforting.
The next day, on Chu Yi itself, the celebration was at our place like always.
By 2pm my house was filled with people going “Xin nian kuai le!” and handshakes everywhere!
My CNY outfit!!! I wanted to buy this dress the moment I saw it in the store, but didn’t because of the price. I pondered over it for a few days but eventually forfeited the idea. Over lunch one day, I casually mentioned this dress I was eyeing to my mother. “I don’t have anything to wear for Chinese New Year!!! D:”
I didn’t expect that a few hours later, she’d go all the way down to the store in Orchard Road and buy it for me!!!! Thank you mummy ♥
Super yummeh steamboat that we have every year
Tang hoon, fresh veg, sotong balls, fish paste, sotong, pork liver, prawns, mushrooms & more!!!!
I don’t even eat steamboat outside but I can’t get enough of the ones we have at home because my mum makes the BEST soups and includes awesome ingredients that makes the soup tastier and tastier as minutes go by because it soaks up all the flavors from the raw ingredients.
My aunt and cousin, Ling Ling!
Wah she’s fast becoming so tall and pretty. She’s almost as tall as me (I’m about 1.7) and she is only like what, 12. I think she’s going to be taller than me next year!!!
I was halfway talking when Sam took this shot so I have the weirdest wry smile on my face. :3
A much better shot! After reviewing this shot on my camera, I noticed how the way I was holding the oranges looked like I was going “Oh hey! Take a look at my melons.” (or oranges in this case)
So I did a funny pose with my oranges over my boobs!!!! …But my cousin didn’t manage to take the right shot
I guess this means he wasn’t looking at my chest. Which is a good thing considering he is my cousin lol.
Googly eyes! Me & my cousin Shu Yuan who looked extra pretty that day
I’ve spent the most time with her out of all my cousins. Back in the day, my kindergarten was near her old house, so after school she’d come and pick me up and walk me home. Then I’d bug her endless;y to bring me to the playground, to fly a kite with me, to teach me how to play the piano because she was always good at everything….
I wonder if she still sees me as that lil kid or does she see me as a young woman now? It must be so weird. I sooo cannot envision my little cousins becoming women. That’s just… wrong. Lol. I know it’s just part of nature but I feel like it’s defying the laws of nature!!! I mean, how could my lil cuzzies not stay innocent, young and cute forever?! As you can tell recently I’m having serious trouble copying with the concept of growing up, growing old and change.
My handsome cousin and my cute grandmother who perpetually has her eyes closed in pictures hahaha
Proud moment for me and Sam when my cousin started talking about Shiberty’s Sweets and showed my relatives some of my cake designs on my website!!!
Everyone was singing praises and going, “Wah so talented!!! Wah go set up a shop!! So capable” and I just stood there beside them watching their reaction and beaming away. I think this is the first time they’d ever seen my designs properly coz I started this less than a year ago.
Ruiwen (the dude in the cool metallic purple shirt above above) told me he’d only recently found out about my cake designing, and wanted to order one for his girlfriend’s birthday. So out of curiosity, he asked 3 random friends (who were not my blog readers or anything) if they’ve heard about Shiberty’s Sweets. He said surprisingly all 3 of them knew who I was and what I did, one of them have even ordered from me before!!! He was very impressed.
Needless to say, I was very pleased.
Food, food, glorious food! What would Chinese New Year be without an abundance of food?!
Yu Sheng that Sam spontaneously brought home one day! I had never expected him to do that because 1) He’s not celebrating with his family, he didn’t need to go the extra mile, but he did. and 2) That’s just really sweet. 3) I didn’t even think of it myself.
He said, “Here, I bought this for your family on Chinese New Year, this will make your mum smile.”
GIRLS, DID I GET LUCKY OR WHAT????….
I actually lou hei-ed a long time ago, way before CNY even happened – at the start of 2012. Our family went to eat at Kam Boat’s newest outlet that recently opened and my mum ordered Yu Sheng for just the 6 of us. I was like, “You siao, Chinese New Year still got so long, why you so kia su order now??? Got few weeks leh!”
And mama said “I want to lou first!!! Take ALL the luck first, before other people get to it!!!!”
Sam super cute lor. I wore Cheongsams the past few years, so he wore traditional outfits to match me.
…This year, I decided to wear white lace for a change.
He also chose to wear a white colored shirt.
You think you very cute ah, always wear matching?! Actually couples that wear matching outfits are quite sickening to look at. Guess we are one of them LOL
The lighting was sooooo good in my living room!!!! Shoulda taken more pictures!!!
Mum giving bro an ang pao as he recites lame four-word-prosperity-idioms in Chinese. I say it’s lame because his Chinese is as bad as mine. LOL I asked my mum, “Eh, wish you in English can a not?”
She laughed and said “can.”
So I wished her.. “Hope you win at MBS every time”, “Hope you stay forever young and beautiful and wrinkle-free”, “Hope you will be healthy and happy forever!!!”
…Alamak. *face palm* Next time before Chinese New Year, I’d go google some chim Chinese idioms and memorize + recite them over and over in my head, so my mother will be impressed.
Dunno what they saying here. But my mum is probably going “HOPE YOU PUT ON MORE WEIGHT” lol she never stops saying I’m too fat or that Janice is too skinny. Asian parents.. You can never please them.
Fat also cannot, skinny also cannot. “A” for exam also not good enough, must get A PLUS PLUS!!!! O.O
They especially enjoyed the second show, bursting into laughter every other minute. Asians + Superstition go together like Soda + Fries!
Took some mandatory group pictures before everyone went home at night!!!!
I was singing “ALL THE SINGLE LADIES!!!! Oh oh oh oh oh oh~~~” and swaying my butt back and forth, as I was taking this shot of my aunties. Nobody giggled except Sam. I love that we have the same stupid sense of humor.
Everything is hilarious when you are us.
Handsome boys and the matriarch of them all!!!!
Not enough uncles to take group picture, so just throw in the cousins + my Vietnamese boyfriend who is not even blood related… LOL (that would be gross and illegal)
COUSINS!!! ^.^.. Though it’s not totally complete……
I miss you, Linda. Wish you could be here to see me grow up, to see what your little cousin has become. Wish we had the chance to grow up together and eat steamboat with the rest of the family and play ban luck and do silly things together. I will keep the memories we shared close to me and you live on in my heart. You were always so nice to me. I hope that you are at peace wherever you are.
…And that was how I spent my Chinese New Year in 2012.
This is a random fact to end my blog post with.
I am no longer bitter about my family not being the type that celebrates Christmas. (I LOVE X’MAS. And always sulked because we’re not Christians so we don’t celebrate it much at all.)
Because I now acknowledge we have a different tradition of our own. And it’s just as good, and in some ways, even better. Who needs presents, when you can get straight out cash???
Lol I joke.
Us Chinese people have Chinese New Year, that one time of the year that will bring us all together, no matter what. Although I don’t really get why it’s called “Chinese New Year” or how it’s a New Year at all for Chinese… I am more than willing to tolerate the DONG DONG DONG QIANG music for a month everywhere I go, just to spend quality time with these people I care about.
Oh yeah, P.S mandatory vain pictures before I go.
I hope your Chinese New Year was fabulous too!!!
Now the question is… how do I lose all that weight I’ve put on from stuffing my face the whole of past week?????