it's chinese new year again. the time where many chinese families gather to usher in a new year, and the animal zodiac that trails along with it.
2007 is the year of the golden pig. for those who are not familiar with chinese cultures, there are 12 animals in the chinese zodiac. for the last 12 years, it has been the "golden" years. the year of the golden rat, the golden cow, the golden tiger etc. the piggy is the last animal in the chinese zodiac, and we have hence reached the last of this golden safari cycle, which only happens once every 50 years.
today is chinese new year eve - where traditionally families, relatives, close friends will come together and have a great big feast which is termed endearingly - The Reunion Dinner.
to me, it's a weird concept to reunite only once a year, especially if you don't bother to stay in touch for the rest of the 364 days, or for leap years - 365 days.
but the chinese has this problem about culture. they no longer want to understand the reasons and logic behind the things they do. they simply do it because it has been so for years.
like the one time my mum insisted that my dad should be reincarnated by now. i am a Christian, so reincarnation is not something I believe in. But since she is so adamant, I nodded absent-mindedly, not in agreement but rather, to indicate that I've heard her interesting assumption.
come his death anniversary in Oct, she demanded that I buy the food and drinks that he used to like, and offer the feast to 'him' at the crematorium where his ashes was held. It puzzled me so much that I had to ask.
"Didn't you just said a couple of months ago that Dad has reincarnated? So why would he still be there to eat the stuff that I bring?" I questioned.
She shot back,"His soul is still there. You got to get him the food so that he would not go hungry."
"He only eats ONCE A YEAR?" I can feel my eyebrows arching all the way to my hairline. "If he was reincarnated, how could his soul still be there?"
Mom was unrelentless. "He was reincarnated, but his soul remains there."
i give up. there's no way anyone can win this argument.
back to chinese new year, i am taking her out for reunion dinner tonight. I hope she likes the food.
call me cynical, but chinese new year has lost all its meaning for me since relatives stop acknowledging our existence the day dad passed away. everyone's scared of being associated with us, for fear we would burden them with our impending poverty.
i guess that's what made me so headstrong. so determined to push on with life. so extremely feministic - like what someone would say of me.
cos I had no one except myself. and i have to be the best i can be. because when the whole world turns you away, you have no choice but to stick it out alone. so that i can keep my head up, and breathe a bit better.
and here i am, surviving yet another year, cos i managed not to crash. it's not a miracle, it's a blessing.
have an oinky new year.