Young people posted appeals on social media to reduce family gatherings or to at least wear masks when greeting one another with New Year's wishes, which is typically seen as disrespectful in the Chinese culture.
China celebrates its Lunar New Year on Saturday, marking the start of a 15-day Spring Festival.The occasion is also observed in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines as well as in Chinese communities across the world, not least in London’s West End, the biggest gathering of revellers outside of Asia.
My mother’s family has been part of the Chinese diaspora for generations. We are spread out across the world. We speak different languages, have different accents, and have married and had children across cultures, shapes, colors, sizes, and sexual orientation. Most of us don’t read, write, or speak Chinese. I speak Cantonese because I live in San Francisco. In Chinatown, most people still smiling say that I am “chap choong” (mixed).But for about a week a year, we are Chinese. We are Chinese with all the bells and whistles, with all the baggage and joy, and with all the guilt and love.Home base is Perth, Western Australia because that is where my grandmother, the matriarch, still resides. Every year, we all try to make the pilgrimage there for Reunion Dinner and a few days of Chinese New Year. When I say “we,” I mean her five children and their partners, 12 grandchildren (including myself) and their partners, plus all the great-grandchildren and their families. As her siblings and spouse have all died, their extended families have also joined, and so have adopted family and families that became intertwined with ours during World War II for protection and survival.Essentially, we are talking about a lot of people.This Chinese New Year will be the third Chinese New Year I haven’t been home since announcing I was separating, then divorcing, my partner of 20 years.The first year I couldn’t even call to wish everyone a happy new year, let alone make the trip to Perth. The next year I called, but still couldn’t bring myself to attend. I explained to my sister and cousins, “I am just not ready to manage the family.” They sighed in sympathy and replied, “Soon.”My hesitation didn’t come from any sense of shame or embarrassment over the failed marriage (we’ve seen divorces and single parenthood), but rather my own fragility and anxiety. Instead, the anxious state I found myself in kept me away. The Chinese New Year is a time of joy, of wishing for prosperity, health, fertility, and longevity. What’s more, Chinese families can be loud. They are opinionated. There are no polite filters. If you are not emotionally resilient, this is not the space for you. And the past few years, I was not resilient.I knew my relatives wouldn’t hesitate to tell me exactly how they felt about my marriage and my ex-husband — and I wasn’t ready to hear it. Telling them to refrain from commenting or crying would just add fuel to the fire, so to speak. After explaining to a friend why I was sitting out our Chinese New Year celebrations, they said, “Oh, so they love with a touch of venom.” It was the perfect description. It also reframed my perspective, allowing me to remember my family’s love rather than their venom.In 1999, my grandfather died. He was a beloved patriarch, the man who told me I could dream the biggest dreams. After his funeral, I sat with several of my cousins from around the world, sharing chocolate mud cake and wine and lamenting our loss. Eventually, our talk turned to the life expectations we faced growing up “Chinese.”We had similar experiences. Like how our parents switched so quickly from “You will not have a boyfriend or girlfriend because you need to study” to “When are you getting married?” and “You don’t want to be too old before you have a baby.” We were pushed from extreme celibacy to immediate procreation with none of the social skills required in between, and we’re left thinking, ‘WTH just happened?’I belong to a Facebook group called “Subtle Asian Traits,” where people my kids’ ages are struggling with similar issues. I’ll read posts from young adults who have high-paying tech jobs — and a curfew. Others ask how to tell their parents they want to date outside their home culture. These are scenarios my grandparents faced, and I faced… But I was not expecting today’s youth to still be facing.I felt it before I was married, and again when I announced the divorce. Chinese families are very vocal about their expectations. Feeling as though I’d missed the mark was devastating, and fear of their reaction was one of the reasons I didn’t attend my family’s celebrations. But I was forgetting that these were people who loved me. The bar they set for me is high because of that love — even if the way they expressed it could be clumsy.> Feeling as though I’d missed the mark was devastating, and fear of their reaction was one of the reasons I didn’t attend my family’s celebrations.My mum and I had a beautiful private call on the second Chinese New Year I missed. She said, “This has been difficult for us because you are so precious to us. To see you heartbroken without being able to fix it made us sad. And when we are sad, we just come up with to-do lists.”I was loved, beyond measure. I may not have been loved in a way that worked for me at the time, but I was loved nonetheless. When they said, “When are you getting married again?”, it was an expression of love.When they said, “You’ll never find a man because you are too smart and make too much money,” they were demonstrating love and pride.“Eat more!” equalled love.Still, and even though I’m the CEO of a multinational bioenergy company and I face investors and board members on a daily basis, I was too nervous to go home.It took a few shots of tequila and a FaceTime call with my parents where I said, “I need you to listen to me. I need you to not say anything until I finish. I love you and I know you love me. I want you to be a part of my life so I need to be able to talk to you. You don’t have to agree with what I do or what I say, I just need you to know what is happening.” From then on, when I heard statements such as, “You are too old to have kids with someone else, what is going to happen?” or “How is someone going to marry you and your companies?” my response has been, “I have experienced marriage, and while I am open to a new relationship and a new partnership, I don’t need to ever get married again.” At first, people seemed shocked; conversations were interrupted. I heard, “You’ll change your mind.” But beyond a few rocky weeks in the beginning, there was barely any pushback with my life choice. Now I have an amazing relationship with my parents, one that I only dreamed of in my teens, my 20s, or my30s. So what am I doing this year? I will be calling in via FaceTime for a few hours to join my family as they celebrate. It’s the next step for me. Next year, I’ll be there. To hug them, to be loud with them, to eat with them. I will embrace how they choose to love me for exactly what it is — love. If they think I am lonely, if they have a line-up of prospective spouses, whatever, I’ll accept it as love. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
The first recorded Chinese restaurant in Britain opened in 1907, though it wasn't until the 1950s that Chinese food (or, more accurately, an Anglo-Cantonese mash-up of cuisines that was more palatable to gastronomically cautious Brits), took off.
Sure, there are icons: the Golden Gate Bridge really is as ridiculously good-looking as the pictures; Alcatraz Island a bizarre and fascinating chapter of history. But the most captivating thing about San Francisco is that it’s as much an enclave of raw, natural beauty as it is a vital, forward-thinking city. Take time to get to know both sides: for every rattling cable car ride or raucous Chinatown restaurant, there’s a peaceful, pine-scented hike with views stretching infinitely across the Pacific. And as the nation’s progressive capital, creativity is in the very fibre of these streets, making art of everything from hidden back alleys to the Bay Bridge. Here are the things to do you can’t miss.
Chinese New Year is almost with us again - but there is still enough time to plan a celebratory trip, even if you want to fly out to China itself. How to do it? Read on...
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was born during the year of the rat. So are Scarlett Johansson, Prince Charles, Jimmy Carter, Katy Perry, RuPaul and even Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong.
In Singapore, an estimated one in every six couples faces fertility problems and what should be a joyous occasion can bring added stress.The post How To Successfully Navigate Your Fertility Journey During The Festive Period appeared first on theAsianparent - Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.
Chinese New Year is fast approaching – and with it comes a host of superstitions that will apparently dictate how the next 12 months will play out for each of us.
Play Pokemon Go-style AR game, take in many ‘River Hongbao’ events – gotta see ‘em all!This article, Rat Race: Play zodiac hunter, catch epic shows at Singapore’s Chinese New Year party, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!
It's China's most cosmopolitan city, with a population of some 25 million people, including more than 160,000 millionaires and a couple of dozen billionaires. It's a town of wheelers and dealers, go-getters and glamour pusses, big business and flash brands – but it's not all about the money.
As we enter the new decade in 2020 with Chinese New Year just around the…The post Steamed Garlic Butter Prawns with Vermicelli appeared first on Share Food Singapore.
SINGAPORE – The quick-witted and resourceful Rat leads the pack at Chinatown’s Chinese New Year Celebrations this year. Based on the theme Ushering in a Great Year, Chinatown will be all aglow with beautiful lanterns from 4 January to 22 February 2020.The street light-up features 200 rat lanterns dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes at Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and the Garden Bridge. Segmented into three sections of Success, Celebration and Family, the centre divider between Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road is decorated with brightly-lit and elaborate handcrafted lanterns inspired by the Chinese Zodiac. Both roads are also adorned with overhanging gold coin lanterns and festive greetings which stretch all the way to South Bridge Road.READ MORE:Top 5 tips for a more sustainable Chinese New YearChinese New Year 2020: Rats, luck and why you should avoid medicine, laundry and crying children7 Chinese New Year feasts to usher in the Year of the RatChinese New Year 2020: Our picks for the most unique yu sheng to toss2020 Chinese horoscope: Your 12 animals forecast for the Year of the RatA towering centrepiece – a 12m-tall, 8m-wide and 8m-long lantern installation – features a Golden Rat and seven other rats atop a bed of gold coins, pink peonies and a giant ingot to symbolise good luck and prosperity.For more Instagram moments, head to the Garden Bridge where visitors will be greeted by rat lanterns inspired by the Five Elements which are a part of Chinese philosophy – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The design of this year’s Street Light-Up is a collaboration between Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee, students of Singapore University of Technology and Design, the Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations 2020 Organising Committee, and master craftsmen from the Chinese city of Zigong in Sichuan province.
So here are some handy tips on how to have a more sustainable Chinese New Year celebration without missing out on any of the most important, yummiest, or fun parts.
As the year of the Rat dawns upon us, chefs are taking it upon themselves to come up with the most creative ways to express this year’s Chinese zodiac in the food served.
Dedicated to the Chinese New Year, the playful lineup will be at the core of a new wave of Gucci Pin pop-up stores opening this month.
So good you might want to buy one for yourself.This article, Chinese New Year 2020: Best goodies to usher in the year of the rat, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!
What makes foods like grapes, peas and noodles lucky? The answer has to do with symbolism and superstition.
Craftsmanship takes pride of place in the latest offering from Blancpain for the Chinese New Year, which in 2020 begins on January 25. The Swiss luxury horologist is presenting its first ever porcelain dial on a limited edition watch for the year of the rat, of which only eight unique pieces will be made. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Swiss luxury watchmaker Blancpain has created a new timepiece with a porcelain dial, which has been entirely hand-crafted in its Métiers d'Art workshops, using techniques that require precision, patience, dexterity and meticulous attention to detail.