Monday, 3 February 2014

Celebrating Chinese New Year Away from Home

2014 marks the third Chinese New Year that I’ve spent away from home. Since young, CNY had been my favourite festive season. And I seriously meant my FAVOURITE! I remember creating a table counting down the days, hours and seconds to CNY from around 2 months before CNY. Well, there is every reason to love CNY. Aside from the angpows, new clothes and endless feasts, the time spent together with the rest of the family is one of the reason why I look forward to CNY every year. Of course when I was still in primary and secondary school, one of the best part is I didn’t have to study or sleep early during CNY.

Chinese New Year
Feast back home in 2010 - How I miss all these :(

Studying abroad in the UK, it meant celebrating without my family. There’s so much to be missed; the reunion dinners, the CNY goodies, the visits to my great grandma’s house, being a kitchen helper, and helping to buy groceries (auntiness to the max). Growing up in council housing right above a market, the CNY festive mood had always been part of my life. CNY medley, the crowd and everything you could find exciting about CNY are right beneath my house. Definitely missed all the CNY buzz from those days.

Ushering CNY in 2012 with the old KDU college buddies in London
Despite all these, I am thankful to have found another bunch of ‘family’ to celebrate CNY with. My first CNY in London was rather less exciting as staying in student residences makes hosting a dinner difficult. Nevertheless, I had a great time dining out with the KDU-ians in London and a couple of other friends. After finally moving out and having my own kitchen in Year 2, I remember hosting a steamboat dinner and ‘robbing’ my guests when playing baccarat and blackjack.

CNY 2013 steamboat dinner
This year, I have to say; it is by far the best CNY celebration I had abroad with a dinner in Goldmine on CNY’s eve and a home steamboat party. Besides improving on the steamboat with fresh seafood, the company was more complete will all old KDU buddies in London (minus Dipti) plus Rabin from Oxford and also all the ‘bros’ making time for the steamboat. The variety of CNY cookies that my mom brought over during the winter completed the festive spirit.

CNY's Eve Dinner at Gold Mine
CNY2014-Yee Sang
Tossing Yee Sang in the UK

Guests for the steamboat! Great company for the New Year.
All ready for the steamboat - prawns, fish fillets, clams, squid, mushrooms, homemade dumplings, fishballs, seafood sticks, japanese tofu, quail eggs and vegetables.
Ushering Chinese New Year abroad is made complete with all the great friends especially those old buddies from KDU and other close friends here in London. Being away from the real family, this bunch of crowd is really the best substitute I could ask for.

Finally, here's wishing everyone 新年快乐, 身體健康,万事如意,心想事成,


  1. walao so im in the bros category la is it? hahaha great post btw!

    1. LOL 'sister' category if that sounds any better :P