I must admit that I’ve never been *into* Chinese new year per se, probably because the idea of dressing up in tight new clothes and sitting in front of a steaming hotpot in the supremely humid Singapore while long lost relatives grill you on every single life choice you’ve ever made doesn’t quite sound like the ideal long weekend, yes? Try explaining your choice to be a writer, albeit one that’s infrequently, if ever, paid. Besides, the idea of reuniting with family might hold water in a country where you have to geographically traverse mountainous lands to be together once a year, etc, but this is Singapore, where you can get from one end of the island to the other in 30 minutes, flat, 45 if there’s traffic. Any lack of regular contact is, make no mistake, a choice.
All that to say that I thought I knew all that, but time has a funny way of revealing your own naivete to yourself, and it was only after moving across the world and back did i find it in myself to have fun on Chinese new year, to confront inappropriate interrogations head-on with cheeky comebacks and nudges, to harass my deaf grandmother with unnecessarily loud yells which, despite what she says, she enjoys, to unzip my jeans in the car after all the cny eating to my parents’s horror and amusement, to take CNY lightly, which in my books, ends up being to take it seriously, to treasure, to hold.
Ah, a cliche? Yes, yes, and yes. Anyway, I wrote about CNY this year more formally on Curbside. Here it is.