Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

This year I have a sweetheart and of course I'm glad to, but whilst everyone seems to be swept up in waves of 'Happy Valentines Day!' (or even 'Happy Singles Awareness Day!'), I'm battling the tides, screaming, 'Kung Hei Fat Choi!!'.

When I first found out that CNY fell on February 14th, I admit I was a little put out. Not Valentines Day! Not my first, proper Valentines Day. Now, I'm almost glad. It's helped to keep me grounded and not cross over to the commercialised mess. Call me a cynic, but it's almost like mind-control — even worse, as corporations tell us how to feel. "Show affection now," they tell us (because I can't rightly bring myself to even type 'love' in the same sentence — whoops, I just did). Child's play. Painting by numbers. We're just following instructions. 'Money can't buy happiness', used to be one saying, whilst The Beatles crooned, 'Can't buy me love'. Have times changed? Or was it always this way on this twilight-zone kind of day?

Here's where I quickly become a hypocrite. Past midnight this morning, I wish D Happy CNY. He wishes me the same, and adds a Happy Valentines, plus the remark that I'd thought he'd forgotten. Perhaps... but I tell myself it's more so because I wasn't expecting anything at all on this day so unlike other days, yet I'm secretly elated and so very touched.

I'm sure if he realised as I didn't specify, but on Friday (knowing we wouldn't be together for "Valentines Day"), I gave him this.

Yesterday, I made him this.


Inside - yet to be written in


I had a discussion with a good friend, K, the other day concerning Vday and whether to particpate in gift giving, and if so what to get. We settled on not being extravagant, both feeling it was ridiculous, but to give a small 'fun' gift. The definition of 'fun' in this instance is something thoughtful and personalised, yet in the sense it's more of a light, joking gift — a silly kind of gift that I feel undermines the Seriousness and Importance that Vday has provided under its reign. I'm not sure if anyone else agrees with us, but this is my interpretation (I say 'my', as I can only be accountable for speaking for myself). On another note, D's and I one year is coming up in two days (Tuesday), and I'm planning to go all out — at least as 'all out' as time and money will let me. Too bad I'm still a little stumped in working out the details relating...

CNY Candies shaped like little pretend Fire Crackers

On to Chinese New Year! The Year of the Tiger!

In an unintentional lead up to CNY, I've been reading novels by Xinran (Miss Chopsticks, Sky Burial and The Good Women of China), which have left me feeling even more strongly connected to my heritage, to my homeland, to my soul. I feel so fortunate, so alive, so vibrant. It's a little overwhelming, and hard to put into words. Like being born again and having heightened senses, I know the secrets, pride and sisterhood of being a woman — being a Chinese woman; the power of love; a sense of justice and doing what's right; compassion because I am not blind or heartless... I haven't even begun to scratch the surface. Whilst Xinran has done a much better job of conveying China and its women in her way, she admits that the country is so wide, so diverse that there is so much she hasn't seen or heard, let alone covered. There's no way to encompass it all — there's not one truth.

As Lily Wu states in Going Home "I realize the true meaning of the word 'country' in Chinese. Country + home". In On the Smell of an Oily Rag by Ouyang Yu, he explains 'country' as 'nation family', he goes on to state his theory on how the learning of other languages, in particular English, breaks down the Chinese character, due to the difference in notions associated with meanings of words ie. the Chinese nation family versus the Western nation state. Whilst this makes me more determined to learn Chinese — I'm very interested in learning the individual characters and meanings that shape each word and/or phrase — I have to disagree a little. Although I don't know my mother tongue and have never been to my mother country, I feel that I — I know that I am still Chinese.

In both Lily Wu and Ouyang Yu's definitions (although definitions doesn't seem the most appropriate word to me) I take comfort. China is my mother country, it's my home — regardless of the fact I've yet to set foot there — and it is my family, as it is my family's family and as I am my family's family. These rights and this love that I feel for it, and I feel from it, and the way that it is and always will be a part of me, is unconditional, even if I am regarded as a black sheep by others. One day I will make things right as this is what I want to do — I want to learn, but deep in my heart I know that underneath it all, through and through, I am Chinese, even if I do fall into a tiny black hole of China that is undiscovered or overlooked.

Part of my CNY

Sunflower Seeds and Various CNY Candies

My efforts last night at channeling Hamtaro mastering Sunflower Seeds

Our CNY Eve Feast: Fish, Prawns, Duck, Two Soups, Chinese Vegetables and Roast Pork... and of course, Rice!

Note: This was for five people @_@ and this was my second feast of the day (feast, not meal). Are you starting to see how food is important to the Chinese? I had my third feast today (CNY lunch) and have yet to eat CNY cake... what's the bet another feast is on the cards? This is also only Day One of Fifteen?! Not that we take celebrating that far...

Kung Hei Fat Choi (congratulations and be prosperous), everyone!
Happy New Year!


  1. Samme!
    That looks like a lovely valentine gift. That meal also looks super delicious!
    I'm glad that you had a happy time :)
    I hope this year brings you prosperity and happiness. All the best for your studies, and may you be rewarded for all your hard work.
    Proud of you missy!

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment, Kat! I'm lucky to have you looking out for me and supporting me. I wish you the very best this year (and for all the years to come)! Keep on being the beautiful person you are <3