Sunday, February 10, 2013

年初一 :: 龙含宝珠辞旧岁, 蛇吐瑞气贺新春!

Lo hei; the tossing of the raw fish salad to signify luck, prosperity and harmony.
Contemporary practice unique to Singapore and Malaysia.

For the man and I, reunion dinners during the Lunar New Year aren't that much of a chore. The family table, is at least, multi-racial, and that means we've a plethora of diets to cater to, and that translates into- we get to eat the food that we like. Also, the festive season meant that it's time for banyak buah keluak dan achar!

As much as the White Paper is a huge conversation topic, we try to side-step it with cooing noises. After all, if our generation decides to pro-create, all our children, if they should choose Singapore citizenship, will be lumped into the category of 'Others'. Don't get me started on this topic. Anyway, our family, is generally respectful of privacy. Our elders have all learnt to steer clear of questions that might result in someone walking out, or giving them answers that they're not prepared to deal with. Importantly, everyone has an opinion that doesn't need to be shoved down another's throat in a non-academic discussion. 

I'm not particularly hot about some traditions of the season, but I've learnt to manage that, and it does help that I do get rather polite celebrations all around. This isn't Chinese New Year for us, not when half of us isn't ethnically 100% Chinese, and the other half isn't Chinese. It's Lunar New Year, and we simply adopt the spirit of the celebrations since we live in Singapore, and for those who don't, have at least shared memories of growing up in a city that they no longer identify very much with. 

The man and I are looking forward to a couple of visits over the next few days to some folks we love. Sometimes, we mustn't forget that the season is not about us. It's always about the older folks. While we can re-define certain traditions, as long as our elders haven't passed away, they must not be too disappointed with our staunch aversion to certain (silly) customs and outright rejection of them. Sure, we don't live life the way they dictate, but when we're upfront and frank about it, we'll always find middle ground. A compromise, if you will.

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