HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!
Yesterday saw the start of a new year, according to the Chinese calendar. We saw out the year of the Horse and welcome in the year of the Goat (or, Sheep, or Ram …)
It is always an interesting time as I live in the UK, and done so for more than half my life. Whilst I do have a couple of cousins living in London, our contact is limited to Facebook and meeting once, or twice a year. So without close family nearby, my celebrations for the new year are somewhat limited … erm .. pretty much non-existent, to be honest.
As I reflect, I am conscious of the fact that my relationship with my culture and heritage is less than intimate. I was brought up speaking English and I remember as a child going through the motions during the various Chinese festivals, but did they really mean anything to me? Probably not. That part of my heritage was certainly not etched into me as a child and coming to England to study for my A-levels just took me further away from that.
The Malaysian-Chinese heritage is one that is steeped in tradition and so there is a side of me that is a tad despondent that I don’t know much about it at all. However, I made no effort on my part, and could not wait to move to the UK to study. I wonder if I would be different if I had children; that I would feel the need to pass on that tradition. I do believe that we should embrace our heritage and be proud of it, and yet, if I were to look at what is happening in the world today, there is so much unrest, prejudice and pride, that I wonder if we will end up tearing our world apart because of it.
Heritage, culture and tradition are part and parcel of what makes this world such a beautiful and interesting place. It would be wonderful if we can embrace all of that as part of being human. They add vibrancy and life to the world around us. The sounds, the music, the colour, the taste, the smell … how wonderful and how fascinating!
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we all took the time to appreciate and marvel at our differences??
Because strip away our skin, our clothes, our beliefs, we are all the same.
Our flesh and blood is the same.
Our deep-seated needs are the same; and perhaps all we want is to just be happy.
What do you think?