And so the best part of CNY is over as everybody goes back to their routine today. My daughter left for Shanghai this morning and my youngest left at noon for NS camp. I'm not feeling so bad, even though the vacumn is there in my heart, because Middle Child is here for another two weeks.
This CNY seemed more subdued to me than previous years, probably because of the burglaries in my neighborhood and the awful incident where a guy died while checking on the fireworks he had lit and another case where a young man crashed his car into a signpost on the road outside our taman. We just feel so bad for their families each time we hear fireworks. The fact that such commercial public-type of fireworks are so easily available despite the ban just shows how out of control everything is. I strongly feel that we should report neighbors who set off those big fireworks. It's both dangerous and annoying to the public, especially in housing areas and at wee hours.
We had our reunion dinner in a hotel for the first time and not at MIL's because we had relatives from Shanghai and MIL couldn't cope, so I didn't bother to take photos of the food. No unicorn or lion dance troupes came to the house until the 3rd day and I was so happy when they came that I let them into my garden where they rolled and pranced around like little lions. It was a big difference to previous years where I had to sometimes pretend that no one was home because too many troupes came visiting. I think that the tradition of lion and unicorn dance troupes coming to the house is dying out as it is more lucrative and less tiring to perform at special events than to go house to house. Likewise, when I was a kid, bai nien was families taking turns to visit each other, with the younger families visiting the older ones first but now bai nien means big dinners where so many people are gathered that nobody really gets to catch up with the hosts.
I must clarify that I DO love CNY music, but only the traditional ones from the 60s, not the West Malaysian ching chang chong stuff that we get now. There's nothing I love better than cranking up the radio (yes, radio) to CNY music the first thing in the morning of the first day of CNY.It's a tradition that my dad practised, and it meant that we had to be up early, dressed in new clothes to wish our parents "Gong xi fa cai" (happy properous new year) before the visitors arrive. I have always wanted my kids to wake up early on CNY, come to Hub and I as we are seated happily, and bow with clasped hands the traditional way and wish us "Gong xi fa cai" as we smilingly hand them their ang paos (lucky money). But that never happens, especially as they got older, as my kids don't come down until past 10 am despite all my hollering. Usually by the time they get to the table, I'm so busy and upset that I don't give them their lucky money until days later.
Oh, we have been getting exciting news recently. My daughter Hong Yi had posted a video of herself using a basketball to paint the basketball giant (oops) Yao Ming about 3 weeks ago and Gizmodo, a bigtime American website that features new ideas in technology and science, had posted Yi's video on its website on 25th Jan. Gizmodo, btw, had its 15 minutes (and more) of infamity in 2010 as it came into possession of the iPhone 4 prototype that was left unattended at a bar in California. The video quickly became viral, spreading to other online sites such as ABC, CBC, NBC, Hufftington Post and Yahoo! ESPN and NBA also posted the vid and the Good Morning America people wrote to her too for permission to air the vid on the show. People from as far as Sweden and Serbia wrote in to say they saw the video on their TV. The vid continued to spread to England, where my niece had the funny experience of friends showing her the vid on mobile phone and looking at her in disbelief when she said that the girl in the vid was her cousin. Yesterday, the Taiwanese newspapers picked up the news, followed by the West Malaysian Chinese papers who gave her front page coverage. Today, the Phoenix Channel in Hong Kong posted the vid and we've been told that the news have finally arrived in Shanghai too. You can go to all the links by typing "Girl painting Yao Ming with basketball" on Google.
See Hwa Daily News: "Sabah Girl Hong Yi Famous Around The World", Sin Chew Daily: "Malaysian Girl Dares To Dream", China Press: "Beauty Uses Basketball To Draw Yao Ming" and The Star: "The Basketball Is In Her Court".
Yi--who goes by her arty nickname Red because in China 'Hong' is red--has always loved to draw, especially cartoons, and even when she was studying architecture, her secret ambition was to work for Pixar. Now's she's happily working in the Shanghai branch of Australia's largest archi firm and she draws when she has the inspiration and time. We are proud of her but the deluge of phone interviews and attention is worrying too. That's it, I should stop the shameless pitching. Back to regular food blogging tomorrow.