Friday, January 23, 2009

Why Chinese New Year can be stressful


It's that time of the year again when ethnic Chinese will be flocking back home for reunion dinners. For many, it's a joyous occasion where you get to meet up with your family, especially for those whose work is based away from home.

For some, Chinese New Year could be a really stressful period. Often, one will have to contend with potentially embarrassing questions from "concerned" relatives whom you meet only once a year.
Chinese New Year celebrations (The Parade) 1/4

"Are you seeing anyone at this moment?"
"Er, well… sort of…"
"What do you mean by that? You're not getting any younger, are you?"
"Well… I have other things on my mind at this time…"
"Nonsense, what could be more important then getting hitched? Luckily, I've got this really nice man/woman to introduce you. I'll let you know once that is confirmed."

"You have been married for nearly two years now. When will you be having kids?"
"Er… probably some time down the road. We'll like to have some time to ourselves."
"Two years is long enough. Are you having any problems? Tell me, I might be able to offer you advice."

"Where are you working at now?"
"Er… I'm still working at the same place."
"Hmmm, you must have been promoted after been there for so many years!"
"Well, I am doing fine where I am."
"What? You mean, you have been passed over for promotion yet again?"

Come to think of it, it's pretty much like Christmas dinners for many of my colleagues based locally, and I'm sure you'll be able to come up with a whole host of questions that you would rather not answer. Come on, share it with us, will you?

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Dutchie said...

Is amazing how much time n effort we put into a "gluttony" fest don't we ?

Hubby came up with suggestions like stocking up b4 the prices of abalone shoots thru the roof. Even the delish bah kwa can be kept chilled in the fridge n warm up in the magnetron. They shouldnt be that different than those home-made kok-chai, kueh belanda, nut-cookies, etc. which were made months in advance, right ?

Sadly tho, people still shop on peak days n complained abt rip-off prices *sigh*.

Arrgh .. I missed the cozy steamboat dinner n the wide range of yummy snacks ! My godmom is superb with her butter pound cake with cherries on top. My niece has created Kueh Lapis layered with crushed almonds - it's yummier than those with prunes (for crying out loud !). Read that hotels r offering Nian Kao with a new twist - snow skin with durian - how abt that ?

So, what do u missed most ?

Lucie said...

Hmm ... my dreaded questions would be:

- "So when will you move back?" "Like ... errr ... I am afraid I never said I left the country temporarily, granny!"
- "When are you going to finish your university education?" "Not now. I don't really fancy doing a master's degree." "But you should. Everyone else in the family went to grad school!" "Will you do my coursework for me if I go?"
- "Have you lost weight again? Do you not have anything to eat in London?" "No, I haven't."
- "You're taller than before. Did you grow up?" "No, just you got older and you're becoming smaller, mum!"

and of course the whole "Do you have a boyfriend?" thing ... bleh.

nightcabcontroller said...

Kung Hei Fat Choi to you this weekend.
I hope you will keep writing your excellent posts during the coming year.

drcrab said...

The last time we went back for CNY (which was incidentally the first time hubby 'experienced' CNY! shock horror) was Feb 2007. All the older relatives said 'happy new year - hope you guys get little piggies this year!!' All very nonchalantly. Not many (if at all) knew we were even trying so it was quite frustrating.

We got pregnant in June 07 - so, maybe their 'good wishes' worked! haha. and the rest, like they say, is history! (except we didn't end up with a little piggy... but a little rat...!). :)

EastCoastLife said...

No matter how cumbersome this festival is, I always make an effort to celebrate it and observe the rituals and customs.

Happy Chinese New Year!! Have a great year of the OX! :D

Check on my blog for the River Hongbao festivities. Association of Bloggers (Singapore) hope to bring some CNY joy to our bloggers all over the world!

I'll be there every night for 9 nights to greet bloggers from Singapore and all over the world. Please help me spread the message. Thanks.

kyh said...

Some of us are just kaypoh chees, ain't we? But I guess that's what make us Chinese. We love asking these sort of questions on big festivals! Haha!

Happy Ox Year!

Martin in Bulgaria said...

"The Spanish Inquisition" You just don't need it. Well you have a year off from this now and go through the same thing. Poor you.

jasonmighty said...

My dreaded question for the past few years are:

Do you have a girlfriend already?

Is as if the right girlfriend is so easy to shopping :(

Here comes tomorrow when they will be asking again...haha

Happy Chinese New Year

SheR. said...

Hey hey CK.
It's another lonely Chinese New Year for me. Well.. pretty much got used to it after being out of SG for almost 5 years now. I'm glad I have someone to share it with even though he's not an ethnic Chinese! :)

Yeah I get asked.. "When are you relocating to SG?" A lot.. sighs..

Dutchie and CK.. do you have FB accounts? Email me if you do!! :)

Planning what auspicious dishes to make for me and fiance. hm...

SheR. said...

And here are the CNY wishes for you and Dutchie!

新年快乐 万事如意

事业顺利 步步高升


Huat ah!!! Hahahah:D

Dutchie said...

Thanks Sher ! Ur happy wishes has perked me up already ;-)) Hubby is away, so I'm organising the tiniest steamboat for myself - haha.

Sorry I dont hv FB account.

Once again, Happy Nieu (insert chinese character of ox here) Year :-))

Dutchie said...

I would like to wish all of our readers here, A Happy Chinese New year !

C K said...

Hi all,

Thanks for all the comments! Managed to pop by Chinatown to catch a sea of red lanterns just now. Will post about that tomorrow.

Just curious, aren't we supposed to wish another Happy Chinese New Year only after the New Year itself?

But heck, happy Chinese New Year to all ethnic Chinese! Peace! :)

Thomas said...

Relative: "How's China?"
Me: "Um, I'm in Japan."

Anonymous said...

Those dreaded moments with relatives and families with their equally dreadful questions...hhehhe.

Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family!!

C K said...

Nian Kao with snow skin and durian? Wait a minute, that sounds suspiciously like a snow skin mooncake to me.

I do get a nian kao when I'm back home but it always ended up covered in moulds in my fridge. Heheh, not exactly my favorite food I supposed.

Like you, I missed the company of my family. A simple conversation over a simple meal is all I crave for.

Happy CNY to you!

LOL, that's basically the world works! Well, you should probably bring someone together with you the next time you return to Czech Rep for a visit.

Just curious, which part of Czech Rep are you from?

Hey, thanks for the wishes and for stopping by. Cheers!

Heheh, I'm sure the next question would be "When the second one coming along?".

I supposed you're staying put over here for this year's CNY. Will you be returning for a visit next year?

How is AOB coming along? Love those photos of CNY celebrations over at your blog... particularly that of the dancing troupe from China.

Happy CNY to you too! Huat ah!

LOL, I've not heard of that phrase used since forever! It does bring back some memories of my army days.

Happy CNY to you too!

Oh, it could be worse. At least you get to die at the end of the Inquisition. :)

Anyway, I'm spared this time round as I'll be staying put in London duing Chinese New Year celebrations.

Haha, hope that you survive the 'Inquisition' as Martin (above) has so succintly put it.

Thanks for stopping by and happy CNY!

Just wondering whether you've returned for CNY before? I realised that you've just returned for your cousin's wedding... wouldn't make sense for you to make a trip back home so soon.

Eh... so, when will you relocate back to S'pore? lol!

ANyway, I don't have an active FB account. Sorry...

Now, back to the subject on food. What did you prepare for 'Reunion dinner'?

And a happy CNY to you!

I get that quite a lot in London... especially with the real estate agents.

'Where are you from?'
'Oh, I see. Lovely place!'.
'Thanks! Have you been there before?'
'Oh no, I've not been to China for some quite some time'.


@My Bug Life,
Have you encountered any? Looking forward to the day that it'll be my turn to do the asking!

Thanks and happy CNY to you!