Alright, we’re pretty sure this is a thing in most (Chinese) households. The separation of seating between the “adults” and the “kids” during big family gatherings/meals. Apparently, this is common practice for some reason. Besides this, we can’t help but noticed that each “generation” also celebrates or does different things during Chinese New Year. Of course, there will be exceptions, but from what we’ve observed and heard, this is how it usually goes down during Chinese New Year for different generations!
The oldest people in your household, most likely your grandparents. They welcome you happily but they also looooove giving advice, especially when unsolicited. Do this, don’t do that, aiyo why you so fat/thin? Basically, they’ll boss everyone around, but will not be doing anything. Well-deserved, but we think we could use a little less advice. They’re the traditional ones in the family, could be highly superstitious and takes the lead during prayers. Or tells the oldest male relative what to do. Will freak out if you wear black.
Anyone from a boomer to a Gen X could be considered the middle-aged, and they’re probably the busiest during CNY. On top of actually of shopping and preparing (food, decor or otherwise) for CNY, they also have to prepare a list of questions they want to ask the young adults. Common questions include “where’s your boy/girlfriend?”, “when are you getting married?”, “what you studying ah?” and other similar questions. The uncles will also have lively discussions about politics and economics, and what they think is best for everyone. Also, since this generation could be pretty affluent, they are also constantly comparing and showing off to each other. Items to show off include new material possessions or children’s/grandchildren’s accomplishments.
In other words, millennials. Young adults don’t actually contribute much to the festive cheer a lot, but they’d be busy dodging and avoiding eye contact and questions from the uncles and aunties. Some braver or really fed up ones may even have one or two sarcastic responses ready. Mostly they don’t have a say in anything at all, opinions could be brushed aside, and some are giving angpows for the first time, or receiving angpows for the last time. Young adults during Chinese New year could be antisocial, only surfacing to take family portraits, eat, drink and play games involving monetary loss or gain.
Well, this generation is the most enthusiastic about Chinese New Year, and rightly so, because they don’t have to do anything. Teenagers will be ready to take their CNY OOTDs, and maybe get their first taste of alcohol via Tiger/Carlsberg beer. As they don’t have to answer lots of questions nor pay for anything, teenagers and kids just look forward to receiving angpows. However, they may be uh, “strongly encouraged without a choice” to wish angpow givers before they receive their reward, especially the younger kids who can’t even stand still for three seconds. They may also suffer obvious statements like “wah, you grow so big already ah?”. Last but not least, they also party up a storm with fireworks!
So, do you relate to any of the descriptions above? Or do you have anything else to add on? How does your family celebrate CNY? Let us know in the comments below!