Celebrating Chinese New Year

We caught up with Mindy Liew, an Undergraduate in Honours Law, about how she celebrates Chinese New Year in her home country, Malaysia, and how she plans to celebrate in Bristol this year.

Can you tell us about how you normally celebrate back home in Malaysia? 

I normally join my extended family for a reunion back in my grandparents’ town, having lots of traditional Chinese food (including yee sang where we toss salad collectively at a table as a sign of prosperity) throughout the week. The night of Chinese New Year’s Eve is spent watching national Chinese New Year performances on the television, catching up with family and watching fireworks. Subsequent days are spent visiting other relatives or visiting the shopping malls to admire the vibrant decorations.

What is your favourite part of celebrating or your favourite memory of celebrations? 

One of my favourite parts of celebrating Chinese New Year would definitely be the music! Aside from classic Chinese New Year songs, known by all, there is also a growing catalogue of new songs creatively themed around the year’s zodiac animal. In the Year of the Dragon, one of my favourite song titles so far has been ‘Long (a word play on the Chinese word for dragon ) Time No See’.

How will you celebrate this year in Bristol? 

Without fireworks and relatives to visit, I will be celebrating Chinese New Year this year primarily through food. I am starting Chinese New Year with a home-cooked reunion dinner with my flatmates, then another celebratory dinner with the Malaysian Cultural Society. I will also be attending local Chinese New Year celebrations hosted by Asian businesses, particularly to see lion dance performances!

Why are the celebrations special to you? 

Being so far away from home, the celebrations are an opportunity for me to celebrate my cultural background and reconnect with my roots. There is also an unmatched sense of community when celebrating with my friends abroad, and I feel a great sense of pride in continuing traditions passed down for generations. Most importantly, these celebrations give me the feeling of home.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fellow students or the University community?

In this prosperous year, I wish you and your family nothing but joy, health and wealth. May you shed the difficulties of the past year and enter the new year rejuvenated to achieve success in all you do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *