Even so, things feel a little different this year. I’m engaged now, so it’s my last year to feel like I’m not really an adult. To feel like I don’t really have responsibilities before I start dishing out the ang baos next year. Man, I’m going to be so broke.
Take my aunts for example. Whenever Chinese New Year rolls around, it’s like they become different people. Don’t get me wrong. I love them. I really do. But they become these commanding matriarchs, these really passionate defenders of what to do and what to say, and we all just follow along.
It’s never occurred to me to even question any of this. Now, I can’t help wondering: When I eventually have my own kids, are they going to feel this way too?
For a lot of us young adults today, it’s like we’re trapped between two worlds. On one side, we have all these progressions in contemporary culture pulling at us. There’s our relationship with technology, all these shifting priorities about careers and money, and questions about what the future holds.
For some of us, it’s a new way of doing things. A new way of tasting familiar dishes. A new way of re-living old memories; of when Ah Gong still had a full head of rich, dark hair or when Mum still used to drag Dad to go sing karaoke. A new way of teaching our younger siblings that Chinese New Year belongs to them too.