Hey monkey! Gong Xi Fa Cai!
I’m really missing Chinese New Year!
It may seem strange that a Canadian woman living in India would be missing CNY. However I love the dragon dance and joyous celebration. Heck, for years I used to organise the annual CNY banquet when I was with the Hong Kong Canada Business Association.
And after criss-crossing between Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China where it is celebrated with great gusto, back here in Bombay, feels like a let down.
Only sign of CNY this year was an Uber notice from my Singapore account, ads for Chinese restaurant deals and a few exuberant greetings from friends scattered in other parts of Asia. Hmm….
However, it got me thinking about the plurality of ‘New Year’ celebrations. How each is linked to the cycles of a particular region, community or religion.
Here in India we have a whopping 16 regional ‘New Years’ – from Holi to Maha Vishuva Sankranti to the Punjabi Vaisakhi or the Bengali Boishakh. Then throw in the Parsi Nowruz or Muharram starting a new Islamic calendar, top it off with the western import of Dec 31st… and you can see there are an awful lot of New Years celebrated in this country!
For each, it is a special marking of time… a transition from old to new.
So for those celebrating CNY – Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!!
And those not? If you live in India… another New Year celebration is just around the corner…
Being a tourist – home and away
Often visitors provide the best opportunity to play being a “tourist at home”… exploring familiar sights with new eyes. A few years ago, I was fortunate to benefit from the reverse phenomenon in China.
During my first trip to China, I was battling a nasty cold. Undeterred, I still planned to see the Great Wall and enlisted the help of a dear friend from Canada – a bosa nova diva based in Beijing. She suggested we take a motorcycle tour – in theory a great idea. However, morning came and neither of us were in any shape to make the trek. The cold, dreary, overcast day didn’t help, however truth be told, we were just in no condition to do justice to one of the Seven Wonders of the World!