Friday, January 28, 2011

Whats Up for Chinese New Year?

On my previous blog, I did mention that in my work place, Christmas is hardly being celebrated as this country (Cambodia) is predominantly a Buddhist country.  What they are particular though is the observance of Chinese New Year.  As for me and for some of my colleagues, too ... Chinese New Year used to bring us a "boring atmosphere".  Why? Because, in our area, almost 98% of stores, eateries, restaurants and even small stores and shops are closed during this season.  You have nowhere to go.  So, I've learned my lessons from the past years.  Now, I make sure to buy everything I need before Chinese New Year season begins.  Also since our business market is mainly focused on the Vietnamese nationals, business is quite slow during this season as most of them opt to stay home and celebrate with families.

But of course, as the saying goes... "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".  Therefore we have to feel the spirit of this festivity.  How? ... by trying to celebrate with them and observe their practices just to have a feeling of being "in".  On the other hand, it is also fun doing their way and also gives us a sense of togetherness.  As I've mentioned several times before, discovery of other cultures has always been of great importance to me.  So what is the best way to start but with foods... :) after all, this is what celebrations are all about.  Here's what I got after researching online:

Traditional Foods and What They Represents:

(courtesy of :
  • Bamboo shoots: Wealth.
  • Black moss seaweed: Wealth.
  • Chicken: Represents happiness and marriage.
  • Dried Bean Curd: Happiness.
  • Eggs: Fertility.
  • Egg Rolls: Wealth.
  • Fish served *whole : Prosperity
  • Chinese garlic chives: Everlasting, a long life.
  • Lychee nuts: Close family ties.
  • Noodles: Represent a long life.
  • Oranges: Wealth.
  • Peanuts: A long life.
  • Pomelo: Abundance, prosperity, having children.
  • Seeds, e.g. lotus or watermelon seeds: Having a large number of children.
  • Tangerines: Good luck.
Maybe we can start scouting for these food symbols and see what is in store for us this Chinese New Year!

Good Luck!

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