Thursday, February 11, 2010

Raise the Red Lanterns

Hard not to realize that Chinese New Year is upon us.

Especially in a town like Miri. Forget what I said about the place being a humdrum sleepy village. Once the spring festival rolls in, the entire place seems to come alive. Red lanterns line the streets, lions roam the streets and folks crowd the streets in search of last-minute celebratory goodies.

So how could I not join in? Don't believe in going into things halfheartedly so... my house is plastered all over with red prosperity papercuts, vermillion lanterns adorn my porch and yes, I do have the prerequisite lanterns at my door. Even have a lovely lime tree with gold taels hanging in my living room.

You can imagine what my office looks like. After all we only get the license to be tacky and gaudy once a year :) Why not go all out?

Still not red enough?

Something I can't say for my colleagues.

Paul : So it's the new year. Gotten newly minted cash from the bank yet?
Colleague : What for?
Paul : You're married, aren't you?
Colleague : So?
Paul : Did you forget about red packets?
Colleague : Eh, must give ah? So difficult man.

Seriously. No red packets? Scrooge much?

You can imagine how the entire crew balked at the very idea of buying new clothes! Seems hip kids these days are too cool for such old-fashioned foibles.

Come on, is that new year tradition so unreasonable? Certainly wouldn't occur to me not to dress up in new finery for the first day of the new year. None of my cousins would even consider breaking that rule! My grandmother would be horrified. Imagine all the bad luck that could ensue!

Certain traditions - such as freakish supernatural superstitions - we can toss out the backdoor. But some of the sweeter harmless ones I think we should try to cherish as much as we can. Modernization doesn't mean leaving all our myths and traditions behind. Without new clothes, red packets and the reunion dinner, what differentiates the new year from every other lacklustre celebration day? It's what makes us particular Chinese, doesn't it?

So make a special effort.

Why else would I have walked down to the new year market just to get myself some extra decorations! I figured my house needed some extra flash. Even sat through an impromptu concert with little kids being paraded on stage to regale us all with raucuous new year songs. Made me wonder with a smile if Charming Calvin had been part of this particular children's show way back when!

Just hung up a set of brilliant couplets at my door. No idea what the supposedly auspicious phrase says but it has to bring good luck, wealth and prosperity, right? Wonder if a couple of lion dances would increase my luck this year.



Little Dove said...

Such festive mood! You make me wanna fly over and celebrate CNY in Miri. ^_^

Little Crown Prince said...

-.- i was about to say i love that song/mv... but omg... that stupid brand... ruined it!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Didn't know you are from Miri...Happy CNY to you=)

Gratitude said...

Oooooer didnt know you browsed cina youtubes?! lolz

Have a great year ahead! Kung Hei Fatt Choy, Kung Hei Peng Onn! ^_^

[danial][ma] said...

hej! paul...Gong Xi fa Cai! may the year of tiger bring more roaring...

SynchingZincInc said...

Paul, nice eye candy pics :D

Happy CNY to you!!!

PS: Not going back Melaka?

Bengbeng said...

sounds like cny in Miri not so bad after all :)