Happy Chinese New Year to my Chinese readers! How has it been so far? Hope you’re eating lots and enjoying all the festivities. It sucks to be away from my family at this time of the year knowing that I’m missing out on all the laughters and good times but I will be reuniting with them soon so there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Seeing that CNY is not as big a celebration here in Australia (unfortunately work and normal life continue on those days) than in Malaysia where I was originally from, I felt the need to continue my family traditions to the best of my ability. I also wanted to give Mr M the opportunity to learn about my culture, with the hope that it would be integrated into the lives of our children in the future. Being a kid in the 90s, I was one of those who preferred “westernised” ways of living because “the west” always seemed more modern and appealing. Now that I’m a fully grown person (hopefully in thinking as well), I’ve truly come to appreciate my own heritage and have learnt the ability to recognise the beauty of Chinese living. I live in a western society and I do like some things about it but I also like to navigate through life not having to constantly conform and fit into the western mould. I guess the fact that I’m married to someone of a different culture also made me extra protective over my own identity. I used to feel a little offended when some friends jokingly mocked me for being “too Chinese” but these days, all I could think of is “yes and why shouldn’t that be the case?” I’m sure many of you could relate to this.
This CNY, Mr M and I gave each other red packets which we then put under our pillows, ate sweet soup, said auspicious things to each other (in Chinese!) and sang CNY songs among all the other fun things. It was nice to see that Mr M reciprocated with all my crazy ideas and put in considerable effort to immerse himself in the culture that I grew up in. I appreciate that.
Speaking of a global integration and a blend in cultures, the beautiful Jane Sews linen jumpsuit was purchased by my in-laws in South Africa the year before last. I’m just so glad that humans are no longer constrained by geographic boundaries but in order to our most beautiful self, let’s not forget who we are.