It has been a very slow news week because of the CNY celebrations. So I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy and prosperous Year of the Dog.
And may I say here that I think dogs are very cute and I am more than happy to see pictures of them all over the place. The more the merrier!
I also look forward to the Year of the Pig. I think pigs are cute too, with their fat bellies and curly tails.
I may not eat pork, but there is nothing wrong with me appreciating and liking the pig.
I used to really enjoy CNY when I was a small boy. And let me be frank with you it was because of the money!
In the seventies, Raya and Deepavali were about food. When we visited friends, all we did was eat.
Sure, there was “Duit Raya” but in those days it was really a more symbolic thing; at least among my family and friends.
Getting twenty cents was common. And also in those days there were no such thing as Raya packets; you just got the cash!
Now when CNY came around, the chance for little kids to make some serious loot arises.
Let me be honest, CNY wasn’t really about food for me, and,I say this with great fondness. The food was usually cookies, peanuts and chrysanthemum tea in boxes! Not very exciting for greedy little boys.
But those mysterious red packets were so exciting! They hid the money and I used to have to wait impatiently until I left the house we were visiting before I could open them. It’s rude after all to open the red packets at your host’s home.
And more often than not, the packets were very light; meaning it was paper money. What fun!
It is such a cliché but the joy of this country was largely due to the fact that we have differences and in those days we embraced those differences.
Those who can’t do that today are simply losing that joy. And what a foolish waste that is!
Kong Hee Fatt Choy!
WRITER: Prof Azmi Sharom