Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not in the festive mood

A New Bloom, A New Beginning by Eric Chan. On display at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore.

Chinese New Year is round the corner. To be exact, the first day of Chinese New Year starts on 18 Feb for this year. The Chinese New Year (also referred as Chun Jie, which literally means Spring Festival) is traditionally celebrated over a period of 15 days. It is common for many to prepare for the Chinese New Year as early as one month before the festival. Preparations would commonly include: cleaning of one's home, putting up auspicious couplets on one's door and in the home, preparing food items, and buying new clothes.

Well then, I am certainly not in the festive mood. Several of my clients were asking me if I would be taking leave during the Chinese New Year period to prepare for the festival, and I would reply a definite "no". I could see no reason why I should be preparing for the festival.

My room may not be the cleanest room in the world, but it is certainly not messy. I don't see any reason to do any cleaning of my room just for the Chinese New Year.

Some weeks ago, my father asked me if I could help decorate the home. Forgive me Dad, my only possible reply to your question is "No", "But if you wish to decorate, you may do so on your own", with an implied "just please don't get me to do it". I simply want to live in a simple home. I have no wish to spend time and money on anything fanciful just for the Chinese New Year.

My mother could have understood me well, she has been smart enough not to ask me to help her buy any food for the Chinese New Year. Three cheers to Mom. If I do offer to do so, she would probably take it as an extra bonus.

It is just a week to Chinese New Year and I have not actually brought any new set of clothing or pair of shoes for the Chinese New Year. My motivations to get closer to getting my dream $42000 double bass must have been so strong that unless there is a need to buy new clothes or new pair of shoes, I won't buy any.

Furthermore, I cringe at the idea of going out to buy clothes. Apparently, many people are out buying new clothes for the Chinese New Year and the streets have been awfully crowded and noisy! I would rather give myself some breather, and get away from the crowd and the noise. In addition, most shopping malls are playing Chinese New Year songs at very loud volume. My ears are biased and only like certain Chinese New Year music. I don't like Chinese New Year songs.

All I need for Chinese New Year is some peace and quiet, and some time to catch up on practising and reading. I can't see what is so particularly joyous or festive about Chinese New Year except that Chinese New Year is itself a social construct, with some useful functions.

Perhaps the closest that I can get to enjoy some brief moments of the festive mood is when I visit the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. Eric Chan's A New Bloom, A New Beginning is now on display there. Here are some snapshots of his works for your pleasant viewing. Do check it out at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay if you find yourself liking it.

If you are in the mood to celebrate Chinese New Year, I shall wish you a Happy Chinese New Year.


pinkie said...

$42K double bass?!?! *shocked*

Won't your parents feel sad when you dun help? It's festive season, supposed to be joyful... I will round up my children to celebrate...

oceanskies79 said...

The $42K double bass is a dream double bass that I hope to work towards.*Winks*

If my parents feel sad, I am sorry. I can't help it if they want to feel sad. I just don't have the mood to celebrate.

oceanskies79 said...

It is more fun to play the double bass than to decorate or to buy food. If they give me permission to play the double bass for our guests, I can very well oblige.

may said...

those are such pretty paper cuttings! but I know what you mean about the decorations. somehow they just don't appeal all that much to me either. maybe it's all that loud toktokchiang music as well...

crazycat said...

hehe, well, if u seen my pigsty of a room, u will immediately feel that ur room is spanky clean!!
i hv no idea how to clean it up. i guess i will do the usual such as lock it when guests arrive.

hope ur dad dun nag at you again~

eastcoastlife said...

The CNY is a traditional festival passed down for centuries, though it has become another commercialised season, it is still good to retain the tradition. I insist that my son follow our Chinese culture & traditions.

I will be sad if my son refused to celebrate it with me. My grandparents, parents and siblings look forward to this time of the year even though it makes us go crazy with the preparations.

I invite you to my house for CNY gathering. Dun worry, I'll make sure there will be very few people around when you decide to come.

* Hugs *

oceanskies79 said...

May: I agree those paper cuttings by Eric Chan are beautiful. I love Chinese New Year simple and peaceful.

Crazycat: Thanks for the wishes. I hope so too...

Eastcoastlife: What kind of traditions of the Chinese New Year would you like your sons to follow.

I won't mind visiting relatives and friends provided that I don't have to be overwhelmed with countless of people all at one time, and provided that I don't have to be expected to make small talks and answering all the questions that people ask me.

But dear Eastcoastlife, how should I be in the mood to celebrate Chinese New Year in a grand manner with lots of preparation when all I ask for is a simple, quiet festival to reflect and be thankful that I have survived one year?

Thanks for the invitation, could I please consider if I would feel comfortable to take it up?

Simple American said...

I think it is nice to save for your new double bass. I mean surely a double bass = clothes + shoes.