Year of Horse 2014

Happy Chinese New Year everyone- or should I say the more appropriate terms, Happy Spring Festival or Lunar New Year?
I want to wish you a blessed & prosperous new year, with great health, luck in life, love, finance & work. Do not argue, instead, listen & understand, and always be patient & kind. (Something of a learning curve for everyone, including myself)
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This event brings many special memories for me. I have lived almost my entire life away from my parents as they live in Jakarta. I was sent to study & live in Singapore from a young age, along with my sisters. This meant every birthday & other special event was spent quite differently to the average child here in Australia- not that it was ever bad, just ‘different’. And it was only during Chinese New Year, we fly back ‘home’ to have a re-union with my parents & also visit my relatives – inclusive of many whom I don’t know. It was always noisy, crowded, fun…and the day will be filled with my favourite sweets & food- and best of all Red Pockets! It was a time that –in the eyes of a young girl, meant, I could wear new pretty clothes & shoes, have beautiful festive garlands & decorations in the house & die of flattery & attention from my older relatives. Then we would occasionally visit the temples & the cemetery to honour my grandparents who have passed. Ok that bit sounded solemn, but usually we would go in a big family group & my sisters & cousins will often play around the area & my aunties & uncles will crack jokes etc – basically a huge, fun family gathering! And I think it’s brilliant! Think of this as a time like Christmas in Western culture sans the graveyard bit!
If we did not go back to Indonesia, my aunt will take me to the temples in Singapore to pray & tell me folklore stories about the Chinese Gods. Everywhere in Singapore is decorated with that excellent crimson Red & many stores would give out free ‘Lucky’ Candy. My aunt will take me shopping & we would look at the beautiful stalls in Bugis Junction selling imitation Chinese ‘ancient’ toys etc. It was always the best during Chinese New Year for me.
It’s truly a time where I feel the warmth’& fuzziness of having a ‘full family’.

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