It’s that time of the year again when you hustle and bustle with the crowds to buy goodies and new clothes, and join the never-ending queue for exchanging your new notes.
Not only that, but as you brush up on your social skills for the annual visitation of your relatives, you might have to mentally prepare yourself for the tsunami of awkward situations and questions headed your way! Here are eight…
#1 The number of relatives present
Really? How many of you are there? How am I suppose to properly address my uncle’s aunt’s second cousin? With the less traditional families, you can get away with saying “Aunty” and “Uncle” throughout, but for the more traditional ones… Good luck.
#2 Getting called by the wrong name
All those of you with siblings, raise your hands! I’m pretty sure that at some point, your grandparents may have called you by your brother’s name, even if you’re a girl (I don’t know how, but it happens). Now imagine this happening over and over again during CNY visiting, by people whom you haven’t seen in about a year.
#3 Trying to think of new greetings
For those with limited Chinese vocabulary, this one’s for you. Sometimes saying “gong xi fa cai” just isn’t enough to please your elders. They expect you to wish them eternal wealth and health and everlasting peace (seriously, it’s hard enough to manage a single phrase, what more an entire paragraph)?
#4 Getting teased about your weight/size
“Are you sure you only have 1 child? Not 2?”
“Wah! Marry already put on so much weight ah?”
“I remember when you were a child, you were soooooo skinny!”
“Your husband/wife must be feeding you well!”
#5 The never-satisfied relatives
When you were single, they asked you when you were going to find a partner. When you got married, they asked you when you were going to have a child. Just when you think you’ve managed to wiggle your way out of these questions, they ask, “So, when will child number 2 arrive?” Argh!
#6 Dealing with competitive relatives
You know, those kinds. Not only do they brag about their achievements disguised in a complain (“Oh it’s sooo annoying how my boss always takes me to fancy restaurants for our meetings, sometimes I just want a good bowl of fish soup!”), they size you up by asking a million and one questions about your child, just to compare with theirs.
“How much did he get for PSLE?” “Do you send him for enrichment classes?” “My son scores ‘A’ on all his exams, you know.”
#7 Children and ang baos
When your child is given an ang bao, it is in his nature to want to open it up immediately. Snatching it away will probably make you seem like an uptight parent, but letting him run around with it will put him at risk of dropping it (Nooooooo!).
#8 Deciding who gets an ang bao
So many kids everywhere!!! Do they all get an ang bao? Whose child is it? Did I just see one of them lick his fingers and touch the tray of pineapple tarts? They just called me aunty, and I’m not even that old. They definitely don’t deserve an ang bao.
What are some other awkward situations that you usually find yourself in every Chinese New Year? Share with us in the comments below!