We used to fret over the venue for reunion dinner, because we tried not to have shark fin soup for some obvious reasons. However, this year we just made it easy for everyone. (I’m serious, it is not easy to find a set menu without shark fin soup in a decent restaurants in Singapore. Hate this. We used to call and go through all the menus and it took us days.) The food at Roland’s was not bad at all, we had so much that evening and the kids enjoyed themselves too. As usual, Asher turned himself into a bookworm and went into “silent mode” for a while. One needs to spend some time with him to know that he is not trying to be rude or something, this is just him.
Received an invitation to makcik’s house again for this year. Asher was not so into the festive, partly because I didn’t share much with him, however, he knew what is ketupat and told me he learnt how to make them in school. How I wish I have all the time to tell him more about festivals in Singapore. It is very important for our kids to know this from young as we are staying in a multi racial country and we must respect each other religious. I hope Asher grows up having not only Chinese friends, but Indian, Malay and other national friends too. Racial Harmony Day is around the corner, I must take the opportunity to tell him the reasons behind this occasion and the importance of it.
This is not his first CNY celebration but this year is likely to be the one that Asher truly enjoy and understand the meaning behind it. I know EYM has lots of CNY program during this festive season, they learn about spring cleaning as well as flower market, I really appreciate their efforts and glad that I was allowed to be there for one of the activities.
These were taken last year but I did not blog about it, I didn’t bother to snap any photos this year as I knew there were going to be the same and I was right. Of course, the only difference right now is that our 5yo can tell me excatly what happened on that day. Back home, I helped him to write the details in point form and he did a short show and tell. As active parent, (read:kiasu) I am constantly teaching him, we are always learning, just that we don’t need to be confine in a classroom, and we don’t just leave the school to do everything, everyone goes markets too, I show him interesting things and he is forever on “asking mode”.
I did think of forgo the idea of making lantern as we can’t hang them but this boy came home with a super fragile (read:almost torn) lantern from school, I guess he sat on them in the van, 😁 telling me he wanted to teach me how to make lantern. Since I had so many hong Bao at home, I took them out and let him choose any designs he wanted, he then showed me the steps of making these simple lantern. Proud of you, son. Very simple to make and it’s quite engaging.
Again, we did not write any but we did it differently, using some glittering glue and red paper, got him to write some simple words and let him have the fun squeezing the glue to cover the outline. The main reason of doing this was because I almost kill myself trying to teach him how to greet 大吉大利 and why mandarin oranges are used during CNY🍊. Now, whenever he receives a hong bao, these four words just 郎朗上口啦！
种年花 和 逛年花市场
We did not really decorate our house this year with chinese auspicious items in the house, that includes New Year Flowers 年花. What can we do besides roaming around flower market? We planted some! There are garlic, onion, coriander and radish.
- Garlic – 蒜， 谐音：算
- Onion – 葱，谐音：聪
- Coriander – 芹，谐音：勤
- Radish – 菜头，谐音：彩头
I explained to him why chinese like to buy flowers during CNY and why some plants are popular, mainly because of the name of flowers and they usually represent something good/auspicious, bring lucks and money to the family.
Shortcut版的拜年歌 super cute song taught by teacher in school. Asher missed the performance in school, I believe the kids had fun celebrating CNY with teachers and classmates.
CNY Goodies 年饼
Due to the tight schedule, we did not manage to see the process of goodies making at my mom’s house. However, I made sure Asher knows goodies are essential during CNY. We brought him to food factory at Senoko and he got to try Bak kwa too.
Here is one I would like to share with everyone. This Zodiac animals sign song was taught in school and Asher is only willing to sing them when his mood is good, even so, he is not willing to sing the entire song. 😩
Show N Tell Project
Carlos was with us during the CNY holiday and Asher got a playmate with him everywhere we went and everything we did during this period. Naturally, Asher acted like a big brother, tried his best to explain everything we did together and while I used this opportunity to teach both of them almost everything about CNY, glad that I managed to get Asher’s attention, he really enjoyed having someone with him, be it a toy or a child. Then we drafted out the details and Asher wrote them down. A few trials show n tell at home showed me his understanding of what is reunion dinner and how did we celebrate it.
Lion Dance Performance 舞狮
How can we miss lion dance performance? I have a different post on our experience this year. I am thinking maybe I should buy a small lion head and let the kids play during CNY, that will be next year. 😜
Bringing him to Gardens by the Bay this year was because we haven’t been there for a while and knowing the Dome was decorated with all the CNY theme, it was the easiest to remember that 2015 is the year of Goat, well, some said sheep. 🐑
Yusheng & Visiting
Visiting only limit of close family as we were not allowed to do so actually. Just want to give him the idea that CNY is not all about hong bao, without visiting and greeting with aupicious words, hong bao will not mailed to him, 😂. Besides, this is also the first time he wanted to try yusheng, he saw everyone tossing the food and chopsticks raising up high, he insisted to use chopsticks too. 👍
Making Rice Dumpling 搓汤圆
On the last day of CNY, I knew the teachers were going to make rice dumpling with the kids so we did a trial run at home and he enjoyed making them. As I do not like the ordinary rice dumpling, I did not prepare the real ingredients but Asher was happy enough making them using his playdoh.
So, from the preparation to celebration and now the end of it, there are so many things for the kids to learn, I did not include spring cleaning and buying new clothes in this post, however, most kids rememeber CNY with lion dance, goodies, new clothes, hong bao and holidays! Every CNY brings back fond memories especially those when I was much younger, staying in kampung with parents. Playing fire crackers, movies till night and bak kwa, soft drinks were the best things during CNY.
There were a few lion dance performances in town and Asher missed them because he was in school. Knowing our dear son loves lion dance performances and he was suppose to perform in school but he didn’t as we had to leave town for reunion dinner with his grandma in Johor, I went online to check for performance timing and wanted to bring Asher along. When I found out there was one near the mall and off we went. So, how was it?
- Too loud as the show was at the atrium and it was very small with low ceiling !
- Limited space so the show was merely 10mins or maybe lesser
- No stunt
- Chaotic as they threw candies (God knows why adults were so crazy over the candies too.)
Asher was pretty upset, no one was willing to give way for him, he said “excuse me” but no one could hear him. While he was taking photo with the lion head, someone pushed him and he nearly fell. It was really an awful experience and we left with much disappointments.
Back home, our neighbour told us not to miss the lion dance performances at our estate. What! I passed by the notice board almost daily and I missed it! If I knew earlier, I would not waste my time searching and going to a mall with so many people just to watch lion dance. Honestly, the show at our place was a lot better, there were 4 baby lions and they were busy entertaining our children, the God of Fortune and big head doll were around too, distributing sweets, candy and gold coin to the residents. I heard from residents that lion dance performance is a yearly event and I shall keep this in mind, no more going to the crowded malls for this, okay, maybe for Westgate’s, as their lion dance performers do stunts and use high pole. I could tell how much he enjoyed, not only him, the other children as well.
“Mommy, luckily I woke up in time for the lion dance show, it was awesome!” Said Asher.