Happy Chinese New Year!
It's been a while since I celebrated Chinese New Year with family. After all, I did leave Malaysia in 1998. This year, it was special for many reasons.
With the exception of my younger brother and sister-in-law, my family was here in Iowa to join us for the celebrations. And not just my family, but my extended family too!
So, we have mom, dad, (older) brother, his wife, their kids, my sister, my mother-in-law and father-in-law.
Though we didn't exactly have 100% authentic CNY food, good ole' mom cooked up a storm and made some of our favorites. And dad
Yes, although we lacked the noise of firecrackers, and though the smell of gunpowder and incense are missing, only to be replaced by the cold, dry stinging Midwestern winter air, I've realized that really, it's family that makes Chinese New Year special.
We had our feast early (since we work Monday); but tomorrow Kristin and I will for the very first time be handing out Chinese New Year angpows.
(and for that we're thankful that we only have a handful of kids to give to!)
To my Asian and non-Asian readers: Happy Chinese New Year; may the Year of the Ox bring us all peace and prosperity and a little bit of wealth in these economic times.
And to my pals back home, just know that I miss our good old times, but those memories of us visiting and playing cards and fireworks bring back wonderful memories. Gong xi fatt chai!