Reflecting On Chinese New Year…

…and reading some of Lilalia’s previous posts on stuff she didn’t know at 25 (see link to YumYumCafe…) I was thinking about some of the stuff I didn’t know earlier on in life…

This also comes from meeting family–kids and all–over the past couple of days.

I actually didn’t recognise one sis-in-law after a haircut. She’s had the same severe china doll bob since she was in Pre-U (when I first saw her) and yesterday after we left & were sitting around at lunch I said I didn’t see her there?

And the others shrieked they didn’t recognise her either until she came and said hello!

But I’m getting sidetracked.

Been around too many people.

All those kids milling around yesterday and the night before that…I’m sure they’re being told these visits are important and necessary or just ‘never mind why, stop asking stupid questions and get dressed and in the car‘ like we were years ago… or do they actually like visiting friends & relatives?

I’m assuming some people must, or why do such things continue?

I’m going to pick the age 16 (last year in secondary school) since 25 is too undefined in my mind…

things I didn’t know at 16, starting today with:

1. That I was going to hate everything about Chinese New Year for the next twenty years (so far).

I always assumed somewhere along the way they would become bearable or ‘grow’ on me. They haven’t.

Oh dear–it’s starting to sound like I’m griping, but I’m really feeling more reflective.

After all, the worst is over. For this year. Next year I’ll get out/get away in advance.

While making conversation with people who you are not familiar with, have nothing to say to (beyond ‘have not seen you since last Chinese New Year‘ or ‘not since so-and-so died’ or ‘so-and-so’s daughter got married‘) was bad at 16, it gets worse.As time passes, the number of people increases… don’t think those who die go away; there’s always ‘remember so-and so? how he used to say/do/eat… it was so funnyhahaha!’

And all those still alive are marrying & reproducing… more kids, more anecdotes, more business ventures you might be interested in contributing to…

And the food–at 16 I was called ‘difficult’ because I didn’t like eating meat. I still don’t. I can swallow the stuff without dying–evidence enough for my parents & some others that I’m just being contrary, but surprisingly, more & more people now accept we can live without eating dead animals.

If I’d known how that was going to change I would probably have been more flexible at 16… like now I even ate chicken when a sweet old (well, older than me!) lady from church fixed dinner for me. She insisted she’d seen me eating chicken rice–though it’s been years since I’ve touched it–but she went out specially to buy the stuff and no, it didn’t kill me to eat it.

And with friends & ‘chosen’ family you realise you can make a choice–what is the priority here? The company & fellowship or the food? And often if it is the company and fellowship, you can eat whatever appears & do a cleansing later.

I guess the problem with being 16 was I had no choice/control over my company or my food and didn’t like either.

But at Chinese New Year it seems all choice vanishes again and all food put in front of you is screaming full of meat or refined sugar or bleached flour or artificial colouring…

At group/family/herd gatherings the idea seems to be to strip the eating process down to the most basic savages feeding in a frenzy scenario… thus we get stuff like poh piah–doling stewing gunge out of a communal pot, adding on messy dollops from communal dishes that you then stuff into skins before stuffing into yourselves… or the steamboat–with platters of raw meats lying around sweating as the cauldron bubbles and everyone is saying ‘too much food–eat more–don’t waste’

I didn’t understand that at 16 and don’t understand that now. Can someone explain to me how food is less wasted if I eat it now (not needing it) than if I don’t?

Guess Lilalia’s list isn’t going to work for me after all–looks like I haven’t learned a lot since the age of 16!

My list would be What I Didn’t Understand Then & Still Don’t Know Now…

Or maybe I should just shut up till the effects of Chinese New Year have worn off…

Sirotan

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4 Responses

  1. at least you’re at home to be told to clean your room… good girl! I think my parents now more afraid I’ll be around!!!

  2. I am beginning to dislike chinese new year too. I hate the cleaning of my room every year. This year i refuse to pack my room haha.

  3. I know! I know! Grrr yourself!!

  4. CNY brings out primal rage in us. Grrrrr.

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