The exodus has begun
Over the last couple of weeks, probably 100m Chinese from the Chinese cities and overseas have made a beeline home to their little villages and towns to be with their families during the Lunar New Year. Several hundred thousands of Malaysian Chinese too will make the same pilgrimage home to be near to their loved ones, to renew that familial ties, to stay and keep in touch with papa and mama, grandpa and grandma, brothers and sisters, and all the aunties, uncles and nephews and nieces. Isn't that cool? No, it is not cool according to some of our young Singaporeans. What is cool is Christmas at Orchard Road and parties in Mohammed Sultan and Clark Quay. Chinese New Year or other religious festivities like Deepavali and Hari Raya are uncool, so commercialised. There is no party spirit to talk about, just some ancient cultural practices that are irrelevant to the sophisticated and westernised Singaporeans. The opening of Universal Studio in Singapore must have been their lives complete. Indeed cultural festivals and holidays have gone too much the way of commercialisation. The ST also helped to publish the going rate for wedding angpows and Chinese New Year angpows. It is $20 for children or $8 for friends. I have 30 nephews and nieces and grand nephews and nieces, how much would that cost me. I will need another income to fill up the red packets. What $20? I have heard of $1000 per angpow and anything less than $100 is embarrassing to pass to the young ones. Now I am feeling embarrassed as well. I believe the Singaporeans are now waiting for the govt to come out with some rules and guidelines on how much to put inside the angpows. Or maybe the Chinese Chambers of Commerce or some big and reputable Chinese Associations could help to lay down the ground rules become angpows become too commercialised that those who cannot afford to stuff in a small fortune will be too embarrassed to offer them to the young. Come to think of it, it will be better to celebrate Chinese New Year without the angpows, just party and have a good time in the clubs or at Orchard Road.