Today is the third day of chinese new year. Folks in Kuching here are still consistently playing fireworks and firecrackers. Chinese new year is the time where you see the chinese defy the law in still playing bangs of firecrackers and fireworks. This is a scene which you would never get to see in other places like strait laced Singapore, or highly packed high rise urban jungle of Hong kong or even Kuala Lumpur.
If you are a tourists and want to have a feel of how it is to have the REAL feeling of celebrating chinese new year, then come over to Sarawak during this time because this is the only time of the year where the chinese will play the fireworks and firecrackers on a large scale to ward off bad luck.
Below is a photo of a scene in Sibu, during chinese new year count down. This scene is similar everywhere in either Bintulu, Miri, Kuching or Sibu or any town. i remembered when i was younger and i lived in a detached house with a big compound. the whole garden was completely carpeted in red instead of green. Such beautiful sight to behold. We had played the Big firecrackers. it was fun. When one is younger, such thrills are definitely fun.
then as a kid, we always looked forward to the red ang pow. ( red packet with money). once the guests leave, we always count the money that we had collected. I celebrated my chinese new year in Hong kong 3 years back and was VERY THRILLED to receive “ang pow” from my cousins ( the husband needs to give me one and the wife will also have to give me another one) who are much younger than me but because they are married, the culture in Hong Kong states that they will need to give me any pow/hong bao” . I was definitely very very happy.
Yee Sang dish is not a Sarawakian thing. it is more of West Malaysian dish. We Sarawakians do not practise such yee sang culture of mixing all the condiments together and wishing for longevity and prosperity.
Chinese new year is a time to be happy and joyful. but then again, let’s not forget the less fortunate . several years ago, my good friend May told me a story of how a hawker stall owner gave away gifts of any pow or hongbao to the less fortunate during chinese new year and in no time at all, the God of Fortune gave it back to him and his business flourished within a short time span. So that got me thinking, why not i do the same to have the good fortune blessed upon me too. YEs, i visited boys’ shelter home and donated a boxful of oranges but only to be told that most of the boys had gone home. Then i visited the old folks home and i saw many boxes of oranges there. Next i visited the blind centre and saw almost 20 boxes of oranges there and i left mine there too. So many people are doing the same thing too. everyone wants to do something for charity but seriously, is donating oranges enough ?? No, of course not/
It would be more meaningful if the money used to buy the oranges be used instead to maintain the home, repairing work or perhaps donate a new air cond. something that would make these less fortunate individuals’ lives easier, won’t you agree?