Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Deeper Meaning of CNY.

The Yap Family, CNY 2014. (Yes, we're all sepet.)

It's my second Chinese New Year away from home. You would think that I'd be used to the lack of CNY festivities after having gone through it once before but, it's actually harder this time around.

Being away from family during any holiday season or celebration has been pretty tough for me. Whilst studying abroad, I realised that it's usually around these periods that I feel homesick the most. It just doesn't feel right when I'm not spending time with my parents and brothers.

My family has always been big on celebrating birthdays or even holidays like Christmas or CNY. Seeing as how my brothers and I are all grown up now and have our own busy schedules, celebrations and holidays like these are usually opportunities for us to gather together as a family. And this is what I miss the most! Other than the amazing food, I miss being with my family.

After having been away for yet another year, I realised that CNY holds a much deeper meaning to me now.

CNY is about so much more than collecting ang paos - it's about family and traditions.

I always did know that this was what CNY was about but, it was not until I came overseas that I really understood it for myself and appreciated it. I mean, I grew up receiving ang paos from my parents and relatives every year. It was something that I'd look forward to because that was extra money that I could spend! This year, however, I realised that more than anything, I missed my family and our CNY routines terribly. That's when it hit me! CNY was about something much more important - it was about family and traditions.

Although it's been the same routine for my family every year, the Yap CNY traditions is what makes CNY feel like CNY to me.

To me, CNY isn't CNY without the annual tradition of cleaning up the whole house as a family in the days leading up to it. It isn't CNY without our annual MidValley shopping trip. It isn't CNY without the vegetarian breakfast, the go hoon, the Kajang satay or my mom's mee sua. It isn't CNY without the lychee and chrysanthemum packet drinks. It isn't CNY without our coffee table being filled with all kinds of different biscuits and snacks. It isn't CNY without all the house visiting and rare clear KL roads. Most of all, it especially isn't CNY without time spent with family.

It's disappointing to know that I'll have to miss yet another CNY next year. It definitely won't be easy to have to see pictures and videos of friends getting to spend time with their families on social media but, I know that it'll only be a matter of time til I'll be reunited with my family once again.

Happy Chinese New Year. 
Missing all of you terribly. <3

Love, Ainsley. 

1 comment: