GEORGE TOWN: Millennials are not shying away from age-old Chinese New Year beliefs and practices, but what they dread the most this coming festive gathering is the flurry of sensitive questions from family and relatives.
Liew Pei Su, 28, however, said that she does not mind being asked about her relationship status.
“But when they start nagging at me to get married, that would really get my goat.
“I get this question every year and to top it off, they would tell me it’s bad to marry late or they start commenting on my character.
“What I hate the most is when they say I have gained weight. It feels awkward to be put in such a situation,” said the eCommerce business founder.
Despite this, Liew remains upbeat about the festive celebration, adding that she still observes the cultural practices passed down from generation to generation.
“On the first day of Chinese New Year, I’ll observe a vegetarian diet and I won’t wear black clothes.
“It’s also when we get to spend quality time together watching movies that have all of us in stitches.“As time goes by, it has become harder for everyone to meet due to personal commitments. I only get to see some of them a few times a year,” she added.
Lawyer Kelvin Ho, 29, said he is not afraid to take on tough questions from family members and relatives during Chinese New Year gatherings.
“Now that I am romantically attached, I am ready to take them ‘head-on’!
“I believe my relationship status now would be able to satisfy their curiosity for the time being.
“I don’t mind telling them more about me as, after all, they were the ones who saw me growing up,” he added.
Ho said as per the Chinese New Year tradition, his family would wear red or brightly-coloured attire during the festivity.
Another tradition is eating something round and sweet on the first day of the Lunar New Year, in the hopes that the ensuing year would be smooth and sweet too.
His mother also makes it a point to not sweep the floor on this day.
“Call me conservative, but I believe traditions like these help form the structure and foundation of our families and our society.
“This tradition exists for a reason. Honouring it is, in a way, appreciating the whole history behind it,” said Ho.
Marketing executive Yong Chee Yan, 30, who just got married in October last year, is expecting “hot” questions from her relatives.
“Since I just got married last year, the next question will be when are we expecting a baby,” she said.
Yong said she would wear brightly-coloured clothes during the festival, and not wash her hair or sweep the floor on the first day of Chinese New Year.
“However, I no longer follow the traditions like staying up late at night for longevity as well as not washing clothes on the first day.
“As I grow older, I do not do as much shopping for new clothes for the festival.
I will just dress up neatly and look presentable,” she said.
Financial accountant Lim Ying Yee, 28, who gave birth to a girl last month, said it would definitely be an exciting Chinese New Year for her family.
“I look forward to introducing my baby girl to my family and friends this Chinese New Year.
“I have not seen most of them due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this year, I will meet them with a new ‘identity’ (as a mother),” she said.
As for Chinese New Year traditions, Lim said she would avoid wearing black clothes, washing her hair or sweeping, as she believes it could “wash” away the good luck for the year.
“I also try not to make any bad remarks during the first day of Chinese New Year and maintain a cheerful mood throughout the day,” she said.
The Chinese community will be celebrating Chinese New Year on Jan 22 this year.