Huat Ah!


I’ve been caught up with too much work lately and went home feeling like “I just wanna sleep.” Chinese New Year is the busiest time in Singapore and the pre-CNY is the worst for me, preparing bonus and events for the employees. I don’t wanna talk about work because it’s boring, but I also don’t have anything to write about. But since I made a pledge of “Post a Week 2013” I really must post something this week, preferably today because starting tomorrow, I probably will be busy for my own preparation for CNY holiday.

After 2 years of not celebrating Chinese New Year at home, this year I finally go back home for Chinese New Year. I am Indonesian Chinese, but never feel like one. I think most Indonesian Chinese are not really so Chinese, compared to Malaysian Chinese or Singaporean Chinese. We, Indonesian Chinese love Indonesian heritage more than Chinese heritage. I don’t mean to be racist but I personally don’t like anything related to Chinese thingy, especially the Chinese thinking about being successful is equivalent with being rich and stuff like that. So my childhood memories of Chinese New Year Celebration was about group of families gather together comparing who’s richer than whom.

However, I love festivity.

Singapore has one festive tradition that I really like during Chinese New Year. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s like this… We gather around the table that has one dish full of vegetables, peanuts, salmon and other ingredients I don’t know. We pour oil and other condiments while shouting things we want in the new year such as: “Win 4D tonight!” or “Getting fatter and fatter this year”, stuff like that.

The prosperous salmon dish

The prosperous salmon dish

Then we all grab chopsticks and starting to… THROW THE FOOD UP IN THE AIR. Nope, actually we supposed to mix the dish together and shout things like “Huat ah!” means like “Come money come!” or “More prosperous next year.” Yeah, usually Chinese people always make a wish related to money. I even know how to spell prosperous because I live here. However, they keep shouting and shouting and I usually add “Stay healthy and happy!” =)

Huat ah!

Huat ah!

Continuing talking about CNY, when I went to Chinatown to buy things my mom asked me to, I kinda liked it. It was surely crowded and a lot of people shouting in Chinese but it was festive. People was smiling and laughing, which is very rarely seen because usually I only see rude Chinese people in Singapore. I also went pass this, which looked so great through camera lens. =)

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple at Chinatown

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple at Chinatown

I hope this year I make peace with my rebellion Chinese blood inside of me and just accept the fact that my grandpa came from China. And that won’t make me any less human. So Chinese people loves money and they are materialistic, that won’t make me one just because I am the same race with them. I must stop resenting Chinese people from now. As much as I am proud to be called Indonesian, I must never forget that I am part Chinese. It’s okay not to mention it, but I don’t want to resent it anymore.

This Chinese New Year will be different, I promise. I will go back home to my parents’ house, hosting a Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner with family. This idea is foreign for me but I hope it works.

This probably will sound so wrong coming out from me, but I started to like Chinese New Year more and more since I live in Singapore. I was thinking to post about Chinese New Year, but I didn’t think that the post would exceed more than two paragraphs but here it is… So I guess it’s official, I like Chinese new Year.

There I said it.

Happy Chinese New Year for everyone! It’s time to eat a lot and not feel guilty about it!!!

Cheers,

May, pigging out soon.

12 thoughts on “Huat Ah!

  1. You really are a privileged person;two New Year’s festivities at a row. Not bad. Okay there used to be a touch of petit bourgeois ambitions and materialism linked to the celebrations, but the event produced a post with a smile which I could read with a smile :).

    Happy and prosperous New Year! >^_^< & (^_-)

    • Petit? I think it’s considered huge when almost 80% of the conversation involves money and being rich when no one even cares about being healthy and happy. T.T
      Sad, but yeah, Old generation of Indonesian Chinese were mostly uneducated rough labor shipped from China to Indonesia, so I can’t complain. I’m glad now that generations are over. =)

  2. Whoaa gw baru tau ada tradisi kaya gitu.. itu chinese singapore aja ya yg kaya gitu? tapi sayang juga ya makanannya dibuang2 gitu..
    gw juga ‘less chinese’ kalo dibanding chinese di sing dan malay, uda ga ada tradisi2 cny yg kaya gimana2 gitu, paling cuma makan keluarga aja sama bagi2 angpau hehe. mngkn karena udah lebih kentel kristen nya ya, jadinya tradisi2 yg aneh2 gitu uda ga dilakuin lg hehe

    • Sebenernya makanannya nggak dibuang De, tapi harusnya dimakan berame-rame gitu, plus pake rebutan makan salmon nya hehehe. Cuma di this particular photo terlihat makanannya kebuang2, karena emang meja gue pas perayaan di office kmrn dipenuhi oleh colleague2 gue yang rusuh. Hehehe.
      Anyway happy Chinese New year yah, Dea!

  3. Happy CNY
    Makannya yang banyak yaaaaaa.. Nanti balik ke Spore lagi udah puas ^^ hahaha

    Si Bubu walaupun ada keturunan chinese-nya juga ga ngerayain dia. Malah kayaknya ga ngerti gt perayaannya kayak apa.. Cuma Cina dimuka doang dia mah… Hahahahaha

  4. Namanya “lo hei”, May… Nama makanannya, kaya kata arman “yu sheng”. Gw juga kenal tradisi itu di singapore. Biarpun rasanya ga enak (menurut gw) tapi gw seneeeeennggg banget sama tradisi ini. Fun banget yah!!

    Btw gw baru tau kalo kita meti teriak “huat ah!”. Gw pikir kalo lo-hei-an cuma teriak2 ga jelas aja..

    Happy chinese new year!!

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