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union rites

read somewhere that 10 to 15 per cent of Perth's population is of Asian decentl rli ri\5-i i: otr l-ii)i'/1t: I missthe hype and atmosphere, the lion dances and drums, the immense crowds in Chinatown in the days leading to Chinese New Year and then the quiet on Day One. But I don't miss the music blaring from the shops, rude

people trying to cut queue and not being able to get a taxi on a public holiday! i:)(lrl.,\li\llhJiji Ir'ifl-r'i li:: l<lDS Sometimes, we remind them that they're three-quarters Chinese, so it's a special occasion to celebrate, just like we do on 1 January only w¡th better food! They know that Mum gets stressed out trying to bake

everything before the New Year and cleaning the house thoroughly. On the first day, they realise that it's all for this special day as they get new clothes and goodies. We follow the usualtraditions like buying new clothes and not sweeping the floor. We also switch on all the lights at home (even the oven light!) at midnight on the eve - to scare off bad spirits. The kids get a bit grumpy because the bright lights wake them up rudelyl The most important thing is to mark Chinese New Year in whatever way we can go - big or small. Even if we out for an ltalian dinner, as long as we're all together and give thanks for good health and family, we would have celebrated Chinese New Year well.

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who was then my boyfriend. We moved to Toronto for two years before relocating to Paris. (. i



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!l lt was always a

time of celebrating

with the family, so there were lots of gatherings. Every Chinese New Year would mean new clothes, lots of ang pows and food! Since we were kids, this was also the only time we could gamble. I miss the large family get-togethers, the wonderful homemade food and the convivial atmosphere in every house that we visited. However, I certainly don't miss the nagging questions or unwanted comments from all the old folks! (.i:l.l:litii,,\ l ir\!(ì We don't celebrate very much right now. Maybe a little extra in terms of dinner, but since our kids are young, they don't eat with us as they go to bed much earlier. However, I do make a special effort to call all my relatives in Singapore, including aunts 'and uncles, to send them well wishes. r,,a)(.-"rD I always associate yu sheng, a huge pot of vegetable-meatbal l-fishball-mushroom soup and abalone with the occasion, though I don't


prepare this at home now. My family sends over of bak kwa, pineapple tarts and love letters, though! 'r iì,,\i)¡ r'lüN5 Wli'i:J L ll{:L: r'('.)';'trr.'1't- Right now, my a care packag e

The French Connection i'l,. iì i :i, ljii l\i\l (.:il

Stog-of homs mum Sondrq Ton Uam Mer, 3tl, ond her IT prolect monoger husbond Etienne Loslennet, +t, hópe fo stort more fomilg trodrttons wrth krds Lorc, t, ond Laelitlo, q l'm Chinese but my husband is French. As a family, we try to incorporate the values and traditions that are important to both our cultures in our daily lives. I left Singapore in 2002 to start a new life in Vancouver, Canada, with my husband,


I n¡otrr""osaby February to

kids know nothing of Chinese New Year, since they have never celebrated it! But l'd like to start decorating the home with New Year ornaments, organise a reunion dinner and give my kids ang pows. Now that the children are older, we'd like to make a trip back to Singapore every year during this time. As the kids start understanding more things, I hope to pass on this important part of my culture to them, since Chinese New Year is the one festival I feel is comparable in importance to what Christmas is to my husband's family. My elder daughter will be 4 soon, so it's a good time to introduce the significance of Chinese New Year to her. e

About Chinese New Year  

Our little family was featured in Mother and Baby Feb10 issue on an article about overseas Singaporeans celebrating Chinese New Year.