In this day and age of fast information and globalization, we find ourselves learning and absorbing a lot from other cultures around the world. Some good, some less so.
But with the Chinese New Year looming in just 2 days, I’m curious. Are you a traditionalist? Do you keep to traditional values and cultures for celebrations at least? In fact, this is true not only for those who celebrate Chinese New Year, but for any cultural festival or just life in general.
Just how traditional are you? :)
I did not grow up in a very traditional household for day to day matters. My parents were pretty forward in their thinking but we did stick to certain cultural norms like respect for the elders and calling relatives by their chinese honorific titles based on age and generation. Its confusing as a child but it makes a whole lot of sense as we get older. Just one honorific title tells us whether they are our maternal or paternal relatives and their hierarchy in the family, and it was sort of fun in a way :)
In terms of Chinese New Year traditions, some I practice are:-
- going home for the traditional Reunion Dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year
- bringing mandarin oranges (kum) when I go home and when I visit others during the festive season – “kum” signifies gold and thus wealth and prosperity
- spring cleaning the house before Chinese New Year – to welcome the God of Prosperity to a clean house
- not sweeping the floor on New Year’s Day – so as not to sweep away good luck
- making sure we wear something new and red on the first day of the Chinese New Year – for good luck
- ensuring my rice container is full of rice – so as not to go hungry the rest of the year
- paying off all my debts before the New Year – so I don’t start the year owing money!
You can tell prosperity plays a large part in Chinese beliefs eh? LOL! :D I made sure to practice what I could even when I was living overseas because it was what defined Chinese New Year for me.
You might say I’m quite a traditionalist or even superstitious, and I am as I get older ;) But so long as it doesn’t harm or inconvenience me or anyone around me, I’m happy to keep the traditions going. Its fun anyway :D
I realise not everyone here celebrates Chinese New Year, so if you do, do share if you have a traditional streak in you despite the wonders of modern technology and knowledge.
If you are of a different culture, please feel free to share if you keep to traditions of your culture or festive celebrations too. I know every culture and celebration has their traditions and I’m always up to learning something new :D
Your Say: How traditional are you?