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Friday, February 04, 2005

New Year in those days

Another 5 days to go until Chinese New Year. Apart looking forward to the holiday (read: no work), I can't seem to get into the spirit of the season. I watched this documentary on Nat Geo once about the celebrations in China. It said that the New Year meant the most to the very young and the very old. How true.

Chinese New Year as a small kid for me was a blast. We would be in Malacca, at my paternal grandmother's place. My grandmother, being a respected matriach of the clan, would have a long stream of visitors and relatives. That meant cousins and lots of fun times.

We always hung a red cloth around and above our door, a custom special only to Hakkas in Malacca. As a Christian, its mirrors the passover practice, a significance lost on us at that age.

As I look back now, I can remember a lot of discreet practices that I rarely see these days - small lime tree in our porch, the traditional dinner dishes, the annual gathering for family photograph, white cherry blossom in the living room, etc...

Sadly once my revered grandmother passed on many years ago, we stopped going to Malacca and eventually stopped celebrating New Year. Partly because I was born a Christian, and New Year meant more as a family gathering and not a religious festival.

I remember from very young on, I always told people that 'my family didn't really celebrate New Year'.

I'm looking forward to spending the holidays at home finishing my books, watching my brother's VCDs, watching American Idol and Amazing Race, and going to my in-laws in Ipoh, where the celebrations are on a full-blown grand scale.

I'm everywhere I go, I'm bringing my jogging shoes with me. This is to counter the effects of the bak kua.

****

Kenny would have been safely cremated by now.

In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our
Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother Kenny, and we commit his
body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord
bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious
to him, the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and give him peace. Amen.


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