Hi everybody. I’m finally able to sit down and write a little about the Chinese New Year. I definitely had a great time this year. With the public holiday stretch starting from Friday for me (lessons were cancelled) and ending on Tuesday, it’s definitely the longest break a university students can hope for during the semester!
Reunion dinner was a blast this year. As usual, I still maintain that the Chinese New Year is a time for food excesses, and you can see that from the spread I had on the dinner table during reunion dinner, a day where the family gathers for a meal to celebrate the coming of the new year. In the centre is the chinese tossed salad, which we call lo hei here. This is basically a dish made of shredded vegetables and most variations have raw fish in it too, as the mandarin pronunciation for fish denotes prosperity. An interesting riot of colours, and something you’ll always see during the Chinese New Year, especially in Singapore.
What strikes me as interesting is the wa y we have somehow fusionised, or to put it in a better way, nativised our food to suit our culture and tastes, and this even starts from the family. From the red wine that’s passed in copious amounts around (did I already mention food excesses?) the table to the prawn and mango salad, these are not traditional chinese fair, but they are still included nonetheless. In my family at least.
I think one of the things that surprises most people not from the Asian continent is the wide range of variety of food which we have here. I had a couple of friends from the States as well as a friend from Wellington tell me that they were initially totally overwhelmed by the choices they were presented with, to the extent that they just ended up sticking to the same dish throughout their first few weeks in Singapore. I guess sometimes too much freedom of choice isn’t a good thing eh?