Friday, 13 January 2012

It's The Lunar New Year! And Other Holidays Too.

The Lunar/Chinese New Year celebration is coming soon, in a week's time. Everywhere I turn, splashes of red can be seen. Red is after all, an auspicious colour.
That's me, in a very festive Chinese New Year mood
We ourselves (that's me and family) do not celebrate the Lunar New Year as we are both Malay and Muslims but Malaysians do enjoy a two-day public holidays for the lunar/Chinese New Year this Jan 23rd and 24th.

Wishing everyone who celebrates the Chinese New Year a Happy New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai. Xin Nian Kuai Le. May you have a happy, auspicious and prosperous Chinese New Year.



I look forward to do some "loh hei"  which means tossing of salad, with my fellow colleagues. It's a symbol for gathering prosperity. Toss the salad high with your chopsticks to raise good luck! The higher the toss, the better your luck will be. *^-^*

"Yee sang" literally means raw fish. It has raw strips of salmon as the main ingredients with shredded mix vege, jellyfish, crackers, sauces and condiments. Even though I mentioned that I don't celebrate the festival itself (I am neither a Buddhist nor a Chinese),  I do enjoy having fun during the festival with my Chinese friends and colleagues.

Not only that, I am so looking forward to hampers and mandarin oranges that will be sent over to my department! I love free oranges! xD For singles, those oranges can come handy during "Chap Goh Mei"  which marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration; by throwing them into rivers/sea in the hope of finding a good husband.

And in about three weeks, we Muslims will be celebrating the Maulidur Rasul which is the Prophet Muhammad's birthday. Yes, everyone gets a day off. The celebration itself though, is pretty much low-key.
Then, two days after the Maulidur Rasul; there is Thaipusam (another holiday, yeay!) an important festival for the Hindus. Also, Ponggal which is a Tamil harvest festival is celebrated this Sunday!

Diversity in culture, we certainly have in Malaysia.

Talking about diversity, how many languages are spoken in Malaysia? Well, for starters there's Malay (which is my mother tongue), Chinese (and spoken in many dialects too - Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainanese, etc), Indian (Tamil being the predominant one but there's Hindi, Telugu etc spoken too) and then you have various ethnic languages too, like Iban, Kadazan etc. And of course, English is spoken in everyday life.

Being just bilingual in Malaysia can be rather a handicap.

I'm putting up this post here, instead of over at my other blog for the benefit of my non-Malaysian readers - specifically to Rurousha for a bit of insight on Malaysia. Can't talk about Japan incessantly, can we? Lest you think I don't care about my own country!

26 comments:

  1. Terima kasih for this post! I hope I got that right. That's Malay for thank you?

    I love the diversity of your country! You have a holiday almost every week! ;) The best story in this post, though, is that one about throwing an orange into the sea to find a good husband. So ... if you have a bad husband, can you throw HIM into the sea instead? :D

    Last comment (for now): Red is definitely your colour. Sorry, but it's not neon pink. It's most definitely red. That's a beautiful photo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on! Yup, terima kasih is Malay for Thank you. ^^

      I wish there's a holiday every week... no, it just happen that the bulk of holidays are set closed together this year since all these holiday follow the lunar calendar/Islamic calendar/whatever calendar there are in the world. We won't be having another public holiday (national public holiday, that is) until May, if I'm not mistaken. Booohooo!!!

      And incidentally, if you count the total amount of public holidays between Japan and Malaysia, Japan has more!

      Throw bad husband into the sea. Now, that's a really good idea! (^_-)-☆

      Red is my colour? You think so. *blush blush*

      Delete
    2. Japan has more holidays? Really?! PS: Mind you, yes, and then they decide they want to take extra English lessons on their holiday, and then English teachers have to work. :(

      Aha, so you have lots of holidays together, a bit like Golden Week in Japan? You'll have to make sure you do absolutely nothing on these holidays so that you can survive till May! ^^

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    3. But unlike the Golden Week, there is no chance in hell the government and employers here will give extra in-between holidays. As it is, the papers are all reporting about the non-productivity the public holidays will cause to businesses. Who cares about employees?

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  2. :) Yess I love CNY and the hampers too! We've got dozens of mandarin oranges already at home.. I have no idea who's gonna finish them.. :D Maybe we'll share them friends and neighbours..
    Yup, I agree being just bilingual is a handicap here in Malaysia.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bestnyer! Share! Share!

      I'm so gonna be stuffed with the oranges soon too. ^^

      Yup, even trilingual might not be enough, kan?

      Delete
  3. Hahaha.. I can't stop laughing at Rurousha's comment - throw bad husband into the sea.. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We women should totally do that with bad/naughty husbands! xD

      Good thing I've yet to find a reason to throw my husband in any pond/river or sea... yet. ;)

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    2. The only problem is that he might end up being rescued by a sexy young mermaid ...

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    3. That would be a guy's wet dream. xD

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  4. How beautiful you are in red wear!!
    Did you toss yor salad higher than usual?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. :)

      Of course. It's fun to toss it high! ^^

      How was your trip?

      And thank you for the postcard. We received it today. :)

      Delete
    2. You see? I'm not the only one who thinks red is your colour! ;)

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    3. LOL

      OK OK I'll wear plenty of red from now on!

      Delete
  5. Interesting. I can't speak such many languages. The event sounds very fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Learning more than 1 language is quite essential in a multi-cultural society like we have in Malaysia.

      Yes, it is a fun event. I always look forward to it (along with having a Chinese New Year lunches and dinner). ^^

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  6. Hi Lina. Did you know I am half Malaysian? My dad is from Meleka. We always did Chinese new year when I was a kid (here in Australia) but I don't celebrate it now as I always forget! I still love Chinese and Malaysian food and I cook it quite often. Eating satay always reminds me of being in Malaysia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? Way cool! So, you used to have a Chinese surname?

      Come over for a visit, and I treat you for more sate! I live near the famous Sate Kajang. :)

      Delete
  7. I'll come and visit you next time I'm in Malaysia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool!

      I'll wear my Rilakkuma tee that day. ^^

      Delete
  8. Saw this new format but yet to do anything about it. Not quite used to it just yet kelam kabut like that haha. tQ for your well wishes for CNY. Happy weekend.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Senang to reply to individual comment and make my comments count higher. LOL

      Have a great weekend too. Where are you celebrating the CNY? Here?

      Delete
  9. Sounds like the Lunar New Year in your area is quite festive for those who do celebrate it. Have a great Maulidur Rasul celebration with your family! Are there any special traditions you follow for Maulidur Rasul?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The New Year is a festive time for everyone, regardless of race and religion here. :)

      No, no special tradition. The Maulidur Rasul will go by quietly for us. Those more religious may spend it at the mosque or something, and son's religious school may perhaps do a little event to commemorate it - that's about it.

      Delete
  10. I know what you mean by enjoying any holiday. :) Sounds wonderful over there. Makes me happy I'm not in Canada as there are no holidays between January 1 and Easter. Thankfully, Japan has a few in between and the long New Year's holidays too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Japan sure has nice long holidays. And who really needs a reason to get a few days off, eh? ^^

      Delete

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