Friday, February 08, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Guo Lai!!!

Check out Sean in Brian's old samfu, a photo-shot made possible only cos I bribed him with a Ferrero Roche.

Day 1 of the Year of the Rat is almost over here in Moscow. Unlike last year, when we had such a blast in London, this year's celebration is a low-key family affair.

This little table decoration is the best that I could do, given limited availability of CNY food and decorative items here in Moscow (plus limited creativity on my part). Look, I even got a pineapple (in Hokkien it's Ong Lai which sounds like Luck Come) and a pomelo (I don't know the significance of pomelo, but I vaguely remember seeing pomelos during CNY). When we made our phone calls home to our families in Malacca and Sabah this morning, I found out from my mum that she bought her pineapple for less than RM2 each; mine was S$16, or RM40!! I would never buy such a pineapple in normal circumstances, but what the hey, it's CNY!

This would be the 4th consecutive CNY that we are spending away from Malaysia :(
Although we are in cold, wintry, Moscow, where there's not a hint of CNY anywhere around, I was adamant about making this an event of some significance for the boys. I bought loads of chocolates and other goodies, and packed the fridge with soft drinks. As a kid, I loved CNY so much and would spend all day drinking bottles and bottles of Sarsi (rootbeer), munching goodies, stuffing my face with mandarin oranges and of course, collecting angpows.

Above is the spread we had for last night's reunion dinner. The menu was wintermelon pork ribs soup, sweet and sour pork ribs, soy sauce chicken and boiled eggs, steamed seabass hongkong style, braised shitake mushrooms with siupakchoy and ginger-garlic oyster sauce prawns. For dessert, we had bird's nest soup. Eddie explained to the boys the significance of reunion dinner and added some c&b story about how the first-born son is expected to help mummy clean up after dinner.

And because Brian had read or heard that the longer children stay up on CNY eve, the longer the lives of their parents, both boys insisted on staying up before succumbing to droopy eyes by 1145pm.

As my parents did all those years ago, I too slipped angpows into their new PJs (bought by my mum when we were in Malaysia) after they've gone off to dreamland, for them to discover with glee in the morning.

Gong Xi Fa Cai Everyone and to Everyone a Happy New Year!


Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD said...

Wow. I have never felt less Chinese than when reading this post!

Roslyn said...

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Lilian said...

@Hsien: You are funny, my all-American girl friend!

@roslyn: Happy New Year to you and yours too!

stef said...

Oh hey, I would love to ship bak kwa over! Got so much extra ah!!!

Happy CNY to you and yours. Guess you don't get the school holidays too?

Shannon's Mummy said...

Happy Chinese New Year To You and Your Family... ^_^

Lilian said...

Happy Chinese New Year Jasmine. Wishing you and your family a prosperous, healthy and happy Year of the Rat and in the years ahead too!

bACk in GERMANY said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Wow, sister, you did well for CNY!! *Kowtow*

Like you, no hint of CNY here in FfM. Eh, and it's our 3rd year here! Worst part, Daddy was and is still away in Sg on business trip! What reunion was that?

Ehh... you forgot the part afer angpaos! Catching a movie in the open air cinema while nibbling on satay ikan! Most exciting part of my CNY memories were with my mom's huge extended family in Malaysia!

Sean looks soooooo cute! Squeeze his cheeks for me please!

Lilian said...

Movie in open air cinema??? Mana ada? Which kampung were you in hahaha...

Whatlah EDB...meeting over CNY? I thought most offices close shop through the weekend this CNY?

Btw, Brian just reminded me (for the umpteenth time) to start 'cooking' the niangao.

Lilian said...

@Stef: Alamak, I didn't even know you left a comment till I logged into Blogger today! Paiseh.

CNY already over but Happy CNY to you too.

Nope, no school hols for the kids, but I kept them in, self-declared holiday.

I've asked my husband to remind me to pack them both OFF to school in the coming years! They made me cekik darah on CNY Day 1!!