Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Keong Hee Huat Chye

"Woah you bathed from the old year 
till the new year hor?" 

Kai Cung, my housemate
on CNY Eve

Just because I entered the shower room before midnight and it was already 12:07 when I came out haha!

A Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!

Just in case you are wondering what the title above means, it says it's "Gong Xi Fa Cai" in Hokkien. "Gong Xi" or "Keong Hee" basically means "wishing you", while "Fa Cai" or "Huat Chye" literally means "enlarged wealth". As we get tons of the same wishes each year, how great if some of them becomes reality and we would have become billionaires by now haha! I mean, we could get free wealth enlargement program just by wishing each other with that simple line haha wtf!

Since this is the year of the dragon, a symbol of fortune and power and considered the most fortuitous among all the twelve zodiac animals, I suppose there will be a lot of activities throughout this year. We shall begin bracing for engagements, weddings, and babies making in the next twelve months.

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Early bird ang pows I got this year. Two from grandma number one, one from grandma number two, and another one from aunt number two. 
That orange is from MSAJ Chinese New Year Party on CNY eve.

Five years back, I celebrated my first Chinese New Year away from my family and relatives and it was quite hard to take in the beginning. Five years on and now, it is no longer a big deal. Although we do not get to spend this special occasion with our loved ones at home, but having great friends to celebrate the day isn't too bad after all, especially once you have gotten used to it.

A very common question my family and friends often ask me is, "You guys don't have holiday one-arh?" or "Why not coming back for CNY?". Just to clarify for once and for all, the Japanese do not celebrate this day, as the Japanese New Year is on the first of January each year. So, there is no public holiday and it is just another day here in Japan.

Well, the Japanese actually used to share the same New Year's Day according to the Chinese lunar calendar many, many years back. That was until 1873, five years after the Meiji Restoration that Japan adopted the Gregorian calender and the first of January became the official and cultural New Year's Day. In Okinawa however, the cultural New Year is still celebrated as the contemporary Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese New Years.

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  Specially imported cookies from Malaysia. Importer by the way, was me haha wtf! Green beans biscuits and sugar jerry biscuit tau sar pneah
home-made pineapple tarts and peanut biscuits from Aunt number two, and an orange from my friend.

Chinese New Year this year was pretty early compared to the last previous years, which used to fall in early February and in the mist of our exam period. This year however, I'm already in my final year and only have my FYP to deal with; so no papers to sit for which means less stress and more happiness lol!

As some of you might have known, I was back to Malaysia for ten days, and returned to Japan four days before CNY. I would have wanted to stay on longer so that I could spend CNY with my family at home, however I have commitments to fulfill at the same time here. Final year projects, lab work, thesis and presentations, all eagerly waiting for my return haha!

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Grandma always reminds us, "New Year must wear red red" haha! Taken on CNY eve.

CNY eve this year was spent at MSAJ Chinese New Year Party in National Olympic Memorial Youth Center in Yoyogi. Though the food was not as great as what we can get in Malaysia, we still have Sprite, home-made gyoza, and cakes, to compliment the Japanese bento sets, snacks and drinks.

On the first day of CNY, we were greeted by the heaviest snow storm in Tokyo in six years. Although it snowed in Chiba as well, it was not that heavy as it was in Tokyo. I spent my day in the lab, cutting and polishing my piece of titanium oxide haha! So, to you guys who are fortunate enough to be able to be back to your hometown and spend quality time with you loved ones, please really appreciate every moment of those because not everyone gets to do that.

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Gigantic cake for the party. It looks more like a birthday cake, doesn't it?

At night, the Chibans (not sure if that is technically correct but I am referring to us who are from Chiba University) went out for a simple dinner at a Chinese restaurant, Seikoen (生香園) just a opposite Keisei Midoridai station. It would be more fun if we could cook and eat together but the timing was just not really right and we decided just to eat out this time. So, here are the dishes we had for the night.

By the way, I just cincai give a random name to them, since I have forgotten their exact names haha!

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Stir fried chicken with cashew nuts.

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Hong Kong fried chicken. This was really good and we ordered a second plate later that evening lol!

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Sea cucumber and mushroom.

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Pork with green mustard.

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Deep-fry tofu in spicy sauce.

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Mixed vegetables, one of the traditional dishes in a reunion dinner.

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Fried spring roll with mustard sauce.

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Wee Kien, sitting in between his two juniors, Chai Ei and Chi Wern.

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With Bik Ee and Bao Cong.

To wrap up this entry, here is a video produced by my juniors from Nagaoka Kosen, where I spent my first three years in Japan. This is the second time they made a video in conjunction of CNY; the first one was in 2010 and that one was really funny too. In terms of humour, I think not many videos are able to match this one.

So guys, enjoy the video, specially brought to you by Nagaoka Video Team (NVT). Trust me, I can assure you that you'll guling guling on the floor laughing haha!


While some oil company spent hundreds of thousands of ringgit to make a CNY video, it only require sincere and genuine hearts from these kids to come out with this video. Well done and I am so proud of you my juniors! I think you guys deserve an ang pao but I'm still unqualified to give out to you guys yet haha!

2 comments:

DT said...

Kiong hee huat chai...!!!

calvin said...

@ dt:
thanks bro! although cny is over, i wish you a happy and prosperous dragon year too! =D