CNY Visits & Visitors

Chinese New Year in Sibu

The Year of the 'Golden' Ox arrived with the crackling sound of explosion and whistles in Sibu. Yes, at the stroke of midnight, like all the other towns in Sarawak, fireworks and probably I can say fire bombs were let loose by the celebrants. As my parent's lived in a predominantly Chinese neighbourhood, we got to enjoy some spectacular fireworks celebration.

Evidence of fireworks leftovers the previous night

Though fireworks was said to be 'banned' the town of Sibu seemed lighted up come midnight. The intensity this year though was not like in previous years where we would usually be treated with an hour of non stop 'artillery' barrages. This time it lasted just half an hour.

Oooha and Yamseng toast mix with Mr. Goh and family - Chinese New Year visiting in progress

We kept the spirit of visiting during Chinese New Year alive as our family visited friends in full force. This scene is replicated Statewide as I read in other blogs about the various house visiting and open houses held by celebrants. This augurs well for the unity of the multi racial population of Sarawak.


New Year 'visitors'

There's a scene that I get to see in Sibu almost every year which is of a group of Chinese New Year 'visitors' comprised of a 'family' who goes from house to house wishing Happy New Year and asking for 'ang pows'. From my random observations and queries, most of them comprises of small Iban families usually led by the womenfolks. This 'practice' came into light since the last eight to ten years or so probably due to urban migration phenomenon. Its an interesting scene really. At one time we were in a friend's house these folks would come into an 'open' house and ask for ang pow. Though it was a tradition for the Chinese families to give ang pows to children but it seems that the adults here wish to have some also. The drinks and oranges offered would go into the back packs. It would be quite interesting if we start to find out the cause of this 'visiting trend' during festive season so that they do not downgrade their visitor status to beggar status. Perhaps a job for the Non Government Organisations (NGOs) that look into the plights of the Dayak's or Ibans' welfare in urban settings like SADIA and SDNU. It would be more appropriate for SADIA as they have noble Aims and Objectives (using the Kuching SADIA website as example) listed out for the community. Looking at SDNU's website, I can see that their cause now are more on a macro approach and International in perspective - maybe a new direction not incorporating Dayak welfare as it is felt that our community is quite progressive already? Anyway, Cheers and Gong Xi Fa Chai.

Comments

Hamidah Mohamad said…
So you had a joyful time in joining the customary New Year visits to the open houses of our Chinese community in Sibu.I should have gone back to Sibu for that same purpose and experience hehe...Regarding the 'visiting trend'of those small group of visitors,is still considered a good sign of fostering a good multiracial spirits and harmony though the manner it is conducted and the demand for the red packets may not be that appropriate and welcoming in our modern day style and living.Hopefully then to those who proclaimed to champion the cause and the socio-economic benefits of these particular groups will look into this and prioritize where necessary.
One Other ... said…
Best! Best! Esp the fireworks! I didnt get a chance to go house-visiting this year, merely utilising my freetime with church youth program. :-)
Pemancha II said…
rindu meda bunga api dia. Kami dituk nadai meda utai bakanya, laban ke diau ba Kelana Jaya, nadai ninga cina sapiak nebah mercun, diau diri aja sida. Enda ga nanya nama kabuah, laban ke dituk nyau MYOB.

Errm meda bala ke bebaik ke beg nya kala meda meda maia ba menua suba, pot beer sigi disimpan dalam beg meh nya, agik ngintu Krismas/Gawai ba jalan brayun SA suba kelia menya, bala ruti serta kek sigi embis disimpan dalam beg/raga/plastik. Enggai nyadi ngerara ga, sigi maia ngabang. tang salah endar ga cara bakanya. arggh ..
hmm... first time i heard about this style of 'ngabang'. do they just enter any house or only those known to them?

as for the fireworks in kuching, this year ada kureng sikit. this year the session was up to about 12.30am only....
John Goh said…
hi, desmond, this is John Goh. Thank u for putting the photo taken in my house in ur blog. I just manage to get ur blog from ur parent just now, & I will inform my daughter who is in Sydney now to visit this blog. U do welcome to visit my blog if u are free:
http://johngoh1988.blogspot.com