Are You Breaking Traditions This Festive Season?

Most of us have probably predicted when the number of COVID-19 cases started shooting up again this year, that it’s going to be a lonely Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. In case you didn’t realise, Valentine’s Day just so happens to be on the second day of Chinese New Year. We’re staying at home, yes, so let me give you the consolation we all need to look at the bright side of things!

What Can You Do?

1. Host a video call meeting


We’re going to do it the way our schools connected with us during MCO — through video calls! To those living alone and apart from your loved ones, I’m sincerely sorry that you’ve to be separated during these celebrations. There’s a way you can make up for the time apart: take the initiative to plan a video call that your family members and relatives can join! You can arrange some games for all to play or just go with the flow. There are multiplayer online games to traditional games such as I Spy and Truth & Dare for you to choose. What, you wanna gamble? Why not use a multiplayer online mahjong then? I wish you the best of luck!

Another bright side of hosting video calls is that you can get e-ang pows, the new ang pow. 

Nothing much has changed for Chinese New Year besides the fact that it’s all online now, so you can still have the pleasure of blessing your family with your presence and receive monetary blessings in return! Set up your e-wallet account and get prepared for nothing can stop the Chinese New Year spirit.

2. Make your house comfortable, it’s Makeover Time!


Most of us live with it — Chinese New Year decorations. Once it’s up, it’s there till the next generation. It’s surprising how we can’t seem to get tired of them. With all the free time MCO now has to offer, why not give your home a makeover? The Chinese New Year + Valentine’s Day combo this year is definitely giving us lots of good deals for online shopping! Be your own interior designer and help your family refresh your home’s atmosphere. If you plan to renew your Chinese New Year decorations (cough it’s staying there for another generation, isn’t it?), go ahead! 

Do you know a really good interior decoration idea? Instead of heading out for more decos, those aesthetic Chinese New Year cookie jars (that’s filled with yummy snacks *drools*) you put on display can also be part of the decoration! You no longer have to share them, it’s the entire table of snacks to yourself. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly looking forward to binge-eating cookies during Chinese New Year. What’s Chinese New Year without extra weight gained? Besides, small businesses have been increasing since last year, so there are more varieties of snacks you can find online now!

3. Get those addresses, but for the delivery team


After the first day of Chinese New Year, it’s now all about Valentine’s Day. There are lots of deals and promotions popping up in vibrant colours and notifications. It’s another good season to shop online after Christmas! You can arrange what you want to get for your significant other and have them delivered at their house around Valentine’s Day. It might be risky to send chocolates as it may melt and spoil in the heat, so choose wisely on what can safely reach the doorstep of your loved one! Why not go with reusable items such as hollow box frames and even couple cups? Honestly, all you have to do is type ‘couple’ in the search bar and tons of different items will pop up for you to browse.

Giving friends and yourself a Valentine’s Day treat is also a great idea as love exists in many forms <3. Thank your girl group or bruh gang for being there with you and remember to appreciate how far you’ve come in life by showering yourself with self-love!

4. Attend online events


It’s the Chinese New Year + Valentine’s Day combo we’re talking about. Besides looking at discounts and promotions on online shopping apps, take a look at live streams and get a good load of lucky draws and giveaways! These events usually only require you to follow them and to share their event to friends, taking only a pinch of your time. I personally took part in a mooncake giveaway once and my relatives enjoyed a feast of salted egg yolks and snow skins.

You can also attend relaxing events when you come across them. This one’s for the lonely singles out there. Attend some online socialising events and maybe you’ll be connected with more potential friends. Keep an eye out for these types of events on Taylor’s clubs social media!

What Should You Not Do?

It’s the celebration season. It’s time to have LOTS of FUN! Our fingers are gonna get good exercises as we’re about to be scrolling social media to see what others are up to. Of course, we’ll be updating our own posts as well! Here, I’d like to add on some reminders so that we can have an enjoyable celebration this month. Phew, what’s this heavy cloud?

1. Don’t feel obliged to adhere to old traditions


Be it Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, or any other celebrations, there will always be a tradition or two that must be carried out. That’s what makes the celebrations special after all! And typically, on CNY, having a reunion dinner on the eve is an essential annual tradition. However, as we all know that MCO is still around and the SOP is still active, we Malaysians are pretty well-known for not adhering to the rules, aren’t we? That’s a fact that we should change because we certainly don’t want to watch the already-high number of cases shoot past the ceilings after our Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Update yourself on the latest SOP, so that you’ll be able to advise your relatives who insist on meeting up. If your family is headstrong about having a family gathering, you may exclude yourself from it. Normally, you’d be encouraged to greet guests with open arms, but this year is special. Stay at home. You don’t die for your friends and families. You live for them.

2. Try not to be discouraged by gossips or comparisons


Family gatherings are certainly a must during Chinese New Year. It’s also the time when adults start the annoying comparison of whatever topic they can think of. We, students, fall victim under the ‘grades’ and ‘behaviour’ topic, or sometimes, more. We all might feel embarrassed or displeased when the adults blatantly expose our lives to others, especially when they compare us with others. 

There are a few useful articles online that teach us how to stop this belittling habit, such as setting our own standards and expectations, accepting the truth in the comparison, and even complimenting the person we are being compared to.

Whatever the method, never lose your cool and carry yourself as a mature young adult. Doing so will help you to appear more trustable and people would more likely listen to you. Shock those nosy relatives into silence with your unexpected maturity!

3. Don’t push your expectations of what should be done onto others


Many people are restricted from carrying out certain actions during MCO. Not that it’ll completely disappear, but activities of hanging out with loved ones or friends physically is going to be rare. So, try not to expect others to go out of their ways to invite you out or to visit you. Understand that it’s incredibly crucial for people to stay home whenever they can and they’re not obligated to go out unless it's for their basic necessities. Not only that, you should probably keep your expectations in check when it comes to receiving e-ang pows and gifts — especially since many are probably going through financial strains. It truly is a shame that MCO is still ongoing in 2021, so let us all have a blast the next time we properly celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day again!

If you find yourself unable to shake off the feeling of unease or fear and that you’re drifting apart from others, I recommend talking to somebody whom you can absolutely trust, like your parents or a counsellor. It’s always important to seek good advice from reliable people after all!

All in all, stay at home and keep your loved ones safe! Have a blast, have lots of fun, don’t forget to enjoy the celebrations, don’t listen to adult gossip if you don’t want to, and if you miss your friends you can send them a gift or two…  Just enjoy Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day as the fabulous and dazzling youth you are!

Eunice Liow is currently pursuing a Foundation in Business at Taylor's College. She is also a member of the Event Management team for Taylor's College Student Council.

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