Monday, February 11, 2013

The Year of the Snake

Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

No, I'm not late in the greeting because Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days. Some people refer to the event as the Lunar New Year but I'm accustomed to saying and wishing other people a Happy Chinese New Year. Interestingly, I just noticed that the Chinese greeting doesn't mean the same thing. The literal translation of Gong Xi Fa Cai is 'Congratulations on getting more wealthy'. I like it better!

Historically, these are some of the noisiest and busiest days in my year. Its a time for the family to get together and then move as a group to visit extended family. These visits are then reciprocated by the same extended families that we would have originally visited. There is always a lot of loud talking and louder laughing going on. It wasn't the case for us this year.

Richard was away at work and it was just the three of us at home. We were invited over to another Malaysian family's home for dinner on Saturday night and even though it lacked the usual crazy atmosphere of the season, it was good to be there. I did get a glimpse of what the festivities were like at home in Ipoh - my father carried his laptop around the house while we had Skype on so that, for a short while, we could be part of what was happening there.

So, we've now moved from the most auspicious Year of the Dragon to the Year of the Snake. Plenty of parents would have tried to plan for a Dragon baby and there will also be plenty who try their best to avoid having a baby in the year of the Snake. Supposedly, the snake symbolizes fear and turbulence. The two previous snake years didn't turn out very well : 2001 was the year of the September 11 attacks and 1989 was the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Aaron is a puppy and Adrian is a calf so perhaps it was appropriate that we welcomed the year of the Snake quietly.

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