Happy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit!
This Chinese New Year is especially poignant for me for a few reasons – mainly due to the fact that although I have been living away from home for over 14 years, this is the first year I welcome the lunar new year as a married woman. In the Chinese culture, a married daughter is like ‘a bucket of water that has been poured away’, as the same water can never be collected again. My husband’s family will likely take precedence over my own when it comes to future reunion dinners. I can of course, try to juggle time with both families over the course of the 15 days of celebrations but the reality is there will be two families having two reunion dinners at the same time, in two different countries, and there’s only one of me.
But I also realise how blessed and fortunate I am to HAVE a family (two in fact!) to enjoy a hearty meal with. My thoughts are with those who do not have a home to go back to, whose family have perhaps passed on or who are unable to be with them for whatever reasons beyond their control. I remember my grandmothers, my parents, brother, uncles, aunties and cousins who are together laughing around the big family dining table (or restaurant table in this year’s case!) – and I rejoice in knowing they are well and able to celebrate this special time in our culture together.
So although I cannot be with my extended family and my new in-laws this year, I have honoured them by making a batch of my favourite Chinese New Year peanut cookies. Wishing each of you, wherever you are, a Year of the Rabbit filled with happiness, contentment and prosperity.