Archive for February, 2011

Gong xi fa cai!

February 19, 2011

Gong xi fa cai! Yes I know, it’s well over-due, though I have been ridiculously busy and as a result tired as hell. I hope your year so far has been full of rabbity goodness, or if you happen to be from Vietnam…full of kitties. Yes I for one did not know Vietnam did not follow along with the same animalistic calendar as its Asian brethren, but there you go.

If you recall last year, I attended the Chinese New Year celebrations in Box Hill but this year – completely missed them. I did not realise they were even on until the weekend after. While the celebrations themselves were not actually all that good – unless you like perusing stalls selling anything from pillows to bank services, I did want to go up there for two reasons.

Firstly, it’s about the only time of year you can get the amazing chilli lamb meat skewers which we miss so badly from China. Chinese street food was simply amazing…amazing. I miss it almost daily. It was delicious and ridiculously cheap. While the meat skewers were the absolute bomb, I think it’s the sweet or salty flat-breads that were cooked on the inside of a 44 gallon drum which I miss the most. I must get around to contacting one of my former students and having them hunt down the recipe for these amazing little delights.

And secondly, I wanted to buy a new tacky Chinese New Year calendar to hang in the toilet. Yes because nothing quite amuses whilst doing your business than perusing the Chinese zodiac drawn by what must have been a five year old. Our previous one came to us from some friends travelling overseas, and was in fact from a local Chinese store in Manchester UK of all places. Don’t ever say my agendas are not interesting!

I always feel culturally jealous of the Chinese at times such as Chinese New Year. Whilst of course we have things like Christmas, Easter and our own New Years to celebrate, they are never so interesting, or rich with tradition as those of the Asian countries. I look at things such as Lantern festival and it reminds me how our mere hundreds of years of Australian culture completely pales in comparison to the five thousand years China has under its belt.

It’s probably silly, and I am not remotely religious, but I wish we too had our own cultural identity which extended beyond being known for our great beaches, and our love of watching sport whilst bent over a barbeque.

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