Things are hotting up for Chinese New Year next week. Interestingly, it’s always called Chinese New Year, or CNY, even by the Chinese. In our usual imperialist way, the West seems to have commandeered the term ‘New Year’ for 1 January – so perhaps we should embrace diversity, acknowledge that other New Years exist and start calling our celebration Gregorian New Year? Just a thought.
CNY is a bit like Christmas is for us, and the celebrations start weeks ahead. Last week I managed to gatecrash the KL Senior Citizens’ Karaoke Club CNY Lunch
and a jolly fine time we had too.
There are decorations everywhere – my local mall has gone for the Japan-in-the-Springtime look, with blossom-laden trees
and a bridge which Monet would have happily given gardenroom, I feel sure –
plus the ubiquitous Chinese lanterns, of course. I’ve lost count of how many of those I’ve seen over the past few weeks.
Even Marks and Spencer is offering CNY hampers
and has a fetching display of cardboard lanterns in the entrance –
The local market has gone for dragons and lanterns –
with individually wrapped CNY mandarins –
or – more impressively – apples with a festive greeting branded onto them –
Children are given money in small red envelopes called ang pau, and the local Chinese restaurant has gone all artistic and tied them to their trees
So let’s hope it doesn’t rain between now and next Friday.