CNY 2016: The Eve 年三十晚

The morning started with arranging stuff offerings for the CNY eve prayers, and burning some offering papers to the gods and ancestors.

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The bunch of vegetables (I think) are very Cantonese. We are always about 好意头 (how to explain this… auspicious meaning words?). Lettuce 生菜 for 生生猛猛 Alive and Healthy, spring onions 青葱 for 聪明聪明 Smart and Intelligent, and celery 西芹 for 勤勤力力 Hardworking.

And then I’m off to my first errand of the day: collect (and pay for) some barbecued meats from this apparently very famous place right behind Menara PGRM, Cheras. It is called Restoran Char Siew Yoong 叉烧杨家家来.

Look, here…

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Woohoo!! Here, a closer look…

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Unfortunately, this wasn’t for immediate consumption. It was for our reunion dinner. While anticipating this mouthwatering encounter, first let’s deal with more from mom’s healthy diet menu.

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Rice porridge with my “favorite” kelp, lots of them >.< …

After this “delicious” brunch, I made a quick trip into town, to Times Square this time, to get some wrong sized clothes exchanged. It was nice to note that the traffic has smoothed a lot and KL was on the way to being a deserted city again, albeit for just a few days. I guess it is because CNY Day One falls on a Monday this time, people are able to get out of town a couple days earlier.

Anyway, here’s a couple of pictures from Times Square…

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I’m impressed with the big monkey statue at the entrance of the mall. Reminds me of 花果山 水帘洞 美猴王 齐天大圣 Sun Wukong… I’m perplexed as to why most of the malls ignore the monkey this year

Oh right, I realized one thing today. In Malaysia, we have been calling it the Chinese New Year. But apparently in most parts of the world, they call it the Lunar New Year instead. I suppose the latter is more accurate, it is only in Malaysia (and maybe Singapore) that we use the former. I guess it would sound kind of racist to attach race to a festival, especially if you are not used to the Malaysian name for it 🙄 …

And now I’m sitting here waiting for dinner to be ready, fiddling with a package that came in for me through PosLayu a couple days ago…

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I will dedicate another blog post for this later, suffice to say for now that the content is safely tucked into my car’s CD player. It is awesome!

My mom also asked: “Whose Sherman? Is that a girl’s name?”. I told her the truth and she got disappointed. I wonder what she will think when I receive a letter from Sharon next. I hope that mail will arrive sooner or later, hopefully it is not lost in transit 🙄 …

I’m thinking to wait until after dinner to hit Publish, but it seems I might have to go out for another errand after dinner. So I guess I’ll publish now and show you dinner on tomorrow’s post…

24 Comments

    • Err.. you seem to have gotten the lean cuts. I actually have not dined in there before, so I don’t know how it works there. But that day when we went to collect, we were early, so we get to choose our 2 slabs out of probably more than 100 slabs hanging at the counter. Ours were perfectly proportioned lean:fat slabs, and it was really great!

      We did get 20 of their chicken feet too, but we did not have then on the same day, they were frozen and we only had them on Day Two. Nice but not as nice as having it fresh anymore. Anyway I’m not a chicken feet person also hahaha…

    • Sounds like you need more work with exploring those authentic cheap street food from food courts and old school eateries, I guess. 😐

    • Apparently this char siew shop is quite famous. They normally operate as a lunch place, but you can order slabs of char siew as well as stewed pork legs/chicken legs and braised pork belly for CNY (you need to order weeks in advance), and on CNY Eve they will open to only fulfil such orders.

  1. The char siew looks nicely charred and caramelised but not much so only a few slices for each person, definitely not enough for you, hehehe but reunion dinner is more about feeling the bond of family, the food is a bonus.

    Wah, the Berjaya Times Square CNY decor monkey is much better than the golden giant monkey at the neighbouring mall. I did not go to both the malls this year.

    All the vegetables with auspicious names, are they for prayers only or will they be eaten later?

    Once again, Gong Xi Fa Cai to you!

    Just wondering apart from ethnic Chinese, which other culture celebrates this new year in this way?

    • It is quite long leh… This slab could probably make 10 char siew rice portions. And… we had… two of these! 😀 😀 😀

      We never throw prayer food away, they always end up in our tummy after being eaten and “blessed” by the gods and ancestors. 😀

      I suppose, the Koreans and Japanese at least, have some form of celebrations too. They would not agree that they are ethnic Chinese I think..

      Gong Xi Fa Cai to you again too!

      • I read that modern Japanese now only celebrate the new year according to the Gregorian calendar, no longer the traditional date. According to wiki, there are certain years where the lunar new year is different for Chinese and Koreans. Then there is the Vietnamese lunar new year which is the same date but their zodiac has cat instead of rabbit. I am saying all these because I would wish an ethnic Chinese who is celebrating CNY, a happy CNY. A Vietnamese, a happy Vietnamese New Year and so on and so forth. I would not like people to wish me a Happy Lunar New Year because it would mean that the person wishing me is just being lazy and did not bother to find out which according to which culture that I am celebrating the New Year. For example, if I am a Vietnamese and it is the year of the rabbit for Chinese but cat for Vietnamese, the person wishing me being lazy and just send me a generic lunar new year wishing card with a picture of the rabbit, then it would be so, so, so wrong.

        • I like your concept. I would totally wish Vietnamese people Happy Vietnamese New Year now that I learned something new from you. How I wish more people would think like you. Race is actually a beautiful thing, it makes us humans more diverse, more exciting. Unfortunately “racism” has been hijacked to become a taboo word, just like “curvy” has been hijacked to describe “fat” 🙁 ..

          If you ask me what I think about an American greeting a Chinese with “ching chong yang, wah ah soh?”, I would not say he is a racist, I would say he is a rude dumb-ass.

  2. As for Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year, I use both interchangeably. But, you are right – the latter is probably more accurate.

    We always have a piece of pork like that as well. My MIL usually stews it. It actually reminds me of a very thick piece of bacon.

    Happy Lunar New Year!!

    • Hmm, I think I know what kind of pork you mean, and I guess they are different. We do have stewed pork, but we never use barbecued pork for it. The barbecued pork itself is a dish worthy of itself 😀 .

      Happy Lunar New Year to you too!

  3. “it would sound kind of racist to attach race to a festival”. Hmmm. I wrote a bit about this on my blog before. Different cultures operate according to different calendar years, and so the one that goes by the moon is technically called “Lunar New Year”. Not only the Chinese celebrate it so it would make sense to use that name.

    But in Australia, a lot of people including the Westerners call it Chinese New Year.

    • I don’t know, I guess I am just shocked that there are people who would think “Chinese New Year” is racist. I suppose I should explain, if you come to Malaysia, you’d have to get used to a lot of stuff which might seem racist to you, but is in fact absolutely alright to the locals. Well, not you, but some others 🙄 .

      Malaysia is a country where many races co-exist in harmony, but we also maintain our distinct difference in culture quite well. So, it is quite normal for us to differentiate ourselves by race, more than most international visitors would like to see.

      • You put it very bluntly when you say “Chinese New Year” is racist. Or at least the term is. Every festival is (usually) unique to a certain culture after all.

        When you mentioned racism in Malaysia, my mind went blank 😐

        • I actually don’t think racism in Malaysia is that bad. I mean, the racism that we read in the newspapers, those are mostly politicians bullcrap.

          It is just that, I also think our standards of what is and is not racism compared to the westerners, are very different. I mean, it is very normal to hear people here make sweeping statements like “Chinese businessmen are usually greedy” or “Malay people are usually more laid back”, and we won’t so much as bat an eyelid hearing this. In fact, I agree that Chinese businessmen here are ridiculous, just go to the markets when it is near CNY and you will see! If we spew the same shit in America or maybe Australia, I wonder what type of response we will get…

          • I think you say it all very well and could write a very good article on racism, or the different degrees of racism. CL the intellectual 🙄

            In Australia, if the same thing is said, I suppose the response you’ll get would depend on who you’re hanging around with. To be honest, it can be hard to predict how Westerners perceive Asians – and how someone perceives other people in general.

            • Probably not that intellectual. I imagine I can be quite an a**hole sometimes with the sh*t I spew. 😀

              I guess it is because I personally try to, and can mostly understand why people who grow up in different environments behave/think/speak differently, and I sometimes feel frustrated when I see people who does not share my train of thought (read: spew “racism!” or “disrespectful” at the first opportunity) regardless of Westerners or Asians. I always try to speak up against such rash remarks which I term narrow-mindedness. 🙄

  4. I saw a big piece of char siew!! OMG, I think this must be a very rare stuff in you family, right?? haha..

    okay, maybe next time I’ll put “Shermaine” to make your mom happy!! but next, it’s going to be Sharon huh?? hehehe~

    恭喜發財 萬事如意 身體健康 心想事成!!!

    • It only happens during CNY period hahaha!

      恭喜发财 心想事成 身体健康 万事如意 to you too! 😀

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