Happy Chinese New Year!

February 10, 2008 / Culture, Daily Life / 13 Comments

Technically, it’s not belated since it’s supposed to last 15 days.

Last night, I went to the Singapore Malaysia Association of Ontario’s Chinese New Year dinner party. The whole restaurant was packed with ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ – that’s what younger Singaporeans/Malaysians call middle-aged women and men. The whole room was speaking in Singlish/Manglish or what’s left of it. It felt like I was transported back to Asia.

It was a refreshing experience. It reminded me of how forgiving my countrymen are. Singaporeans and Malaysians have always been a really easygoing bunch that’s not too caught up in pretenses – as compared to the West or even East Asia. Nothing is ever too embarrassing. No one is too judgmental. I’m not sure if they are the exception or the rule, but I’ve met many that have fallen in this category. So, I felt like I could hang loose, and be at home.

As much as I feel at home with my countrymen, I can’t deny that I grew up in an American school. My lens to the world is very Westernized, at the same time, very Easternized. It irks me when ignorant Americans think that Singapore is a city in China. It equally irks me when Singaporeans still preserve that colonized mentality that Whites are superior to Asians.

It seems that I can’t feel completely at home… anywhere.

Pictures after the cut!

Ruby Restaurant

Hungry chopstick-wielding college kids ferociously digging into the first course.

Me and friend playing around with the cameraphone.