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Monday, February 8, 2016

Lunar new year blues

It's the 1st day of the Lunar new year and I felt rather detached from all that celebratory jazz. From the third storey of my bedroom, I could hear the slamming of car doors and the chirpy voices of my neighbours and their guests resonating in the crisp morning air.

Before I moved to Johor Bahru, I, too, was caught up with the mandatory rituals: spring-cleaning the house, shopping for new apparel and stuffing the kitchen cabinets with new year goodies. Of course, visitation was  de rigeur too. But all that is alien to me now.

To avoid the crazy Causeway jams, as well as to avoid clashing with my parents' duties at the temple on the eve of the Chinese new year, our reunion dinner was held one night before. I was glad to see most of our family at the dinner table, but disappointed at the same time, as everyone was far too polite. I had wanted to seize the opportunity to share with them my experiences in JB, and to air my anxieties. After all, they're family, aren't they?

But each time the topic was broached, it was stealthily swept under the carpet within seconds. And as everyone continued to chew, swallow and comment on the dishes laid in front of them..."ooh the curry's really tasty... You like it? I simmered it for hours... " etc etc. , I felt like I was seated among strangers.

The situation was exacerbated by the fact that almost everyone was chained to their I-phones or Androids. While I understand that we cannot be uncontactable (so we will need to check for messages and such periodically ), it is really annoying and hurtful to not be able to hold eye contact with your beloved ones for more than 5 seconds each time! And it's not what you might imagine  - the seniors are just as distracted as the juniors.


Given all our crazy schedules and varied commitments, it's a feat to be sitting and eating together in the same room, annually. But is eating peacefully together more important than communicating and caring, conflicts and arguments notwithstanding? Do we really have to choose between the two??

Is this true of just my family, or is it just because of our culture? Anybody out there... enlighten me please?

This feels more like reunion dinner

Psst!!! I'm talking to you, are you listening?? 


  1. I agree 100 % oh love your chubby cats btw 😊

  2. I agree 100 % oh love your chubby cats btw 😊

    1. Thanks Sharin! Hope your CNY was a more memorable one than mine!!