Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Sunday Times last week had a big segment on nostalgia. Actually, it was the whole life section. Though an interesting read, I was rather surprise at the choice of topic for the first day of Chinese New Year.

Anyway, the headline on the main paper, promoting the article said: “You can't be very young if you remember them.”

Shoot! I know all of them except the Malay singer.

Ok.. I'm officially not very young. Sigh.

Anyway, since they started the ball rolling about nostalgia, I thought I'd do a bit of nostalgia writing about Chinese New Year myself.

Once upon a time, restaurants, coffee shops and almost every shops would shut for CNY. I mean it was really a complete shut down for at least 2 days....for most shops...even longer.

But there would be quite a few makeshift stalls, set up by some very enterprising Malays or Indians. They's be selling mee rubus, mee siam or satay etc. Not only were these stalls popular with their own fellowmen (who were also denied of their food source like the Chinese) but they were also very much welcomed by the Chinese (who were sick of the Chinese festive food after the umpteenth rounds). They're not something the people from the Ministry of Environment would approve but back then, things were a lot less strict. It may be my imagination, but somehow food from these 'temporary' hawkers tasted better too.

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I almost always have a new set of pyjamas for CNY. And they would almost always be pink, though there were the occasional yellow or blue. They would be plain, except for maybe the little bit of lace or motif stichings at the pockets. I'm not sure if they're still available now. Grandmother used to buy them either at the wet market or the Chinese Emporium. And I would always wear them on CNY eve. Wearing these new pyjamas marks the start of the CNY.

Nowadays I wear t-shirt and shorts, plus an assortment of 'others'. ^^

Back then, when grandmother was much younger, she would always bake carrot cake (Chinese carrot cake) or yam cake on CNY eve afternoon. We would then have it for breakfast on the 1st day of CNY. It had lots of 'lap cheong', dried prawns and mushrooms. I can the kitchen, the round dining table in the kitchen and the tatse of the fresh yam or carrot cake.

My grandmother is too old to do that now. She's 91 years old this year. So my aunt has taken over the job but it's done after the first few days of CNY because she doesn't have the time. Somehow, though they're still delicious, CNY seems a littles less CNY without the carrot and radish cake on the first day.

I guess, Chinese New Year to a kid..would always seemed magical and wonderful and amazing and great. Alot less headache and many times less tiring.

But hey... enough with reminiscing. It is still CNY, so let's all look forward and be happy. Maybe I'll strike the Hong Bao toto next week. Then I can retire a little earlier. Hahaha!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone.

And Happy Birthday everyone.

今天是初七, 是人日。祝大家生日快乐乐。 永远幸福。^^


Anonymous said...

strike Hong Bao Toto next week? i wish i will strike too...then i will take 1 month break and immediately fly to korea to see BYJ & the OM.....hehehehehe....

P.S:do u know who am i??kekekee....guessing time...

tiffany said...

Errr..... Lynn?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs J

Long time no leave message liao.

I also remember having new pyjamas on CNY eve but not anymore now.

oops! does that mean that I am also .....argh! =P

Anyway, Happy Chinese New Year & Gong Xi Fa Chai!!
(last time people say Gong Hei Fatt Choy right?? =P )

the silent visitor

tiffany said...

hello JC

Gong Hei Fatt Choy. I'm sure they still say that in HK and Guangzhou. Whatever the language... as long as I 'fa'. ^^

Yes, JC... you are also getting......