CNY Eve Dinner- cooking or eating at restaurant?

The eve of Chinese New Year carries a great significance as it is the time where the entire family would make it a point to gather together to have a reunion dinner. The Malaysian highways would be massively jammed for the few days leading up to the date as families travel back to their respective hometown to celebrate Chinese New Year.

However since the last decade or so, I’ve noticed that CNY celebrations is not what it used to be. KL and its surrounding towns used to be quiet with no traffic jams as folks head back to their hometown. Within the last decade or so, the city is not as deserted as it used to be…..and many Chinese families can be seen in shopping complexes. I wonder, does this mean that they are not going back to their hometowns?

And, people are choosing to have reunion dinners at Chinese restaurants instead of making the effort to cook. I understand that in certain families there are only very few who are doing all the work so it is easier to just book a restaurant, eat and need not bother to clean up or wash the dishes.

The pricing is upfront slaughter but many feel it is worth paying so save the trouble and hassle. Few years ago it was hundreds of ringgit but now the pricing is at par with a table pricing of a Chinese wedding dinner…. above RM1000 onwards. Often it also comes in 2 batches….6pm and 8pm. Therefore, the one on the 6pm batch would need to wrap up as the food would be served to the next batch by 8pm. Still, there is a huge demand and many restaurants offering reunion dinners are booked way in advance.

This makes me wonder…. would the reunion dinner at home where multi generation of a family gathers at the comfort of the home, taking their time with the reunion dinner be a diminishing trend? I really think the choice of food is not as important as spending time together… but well….

This year, Knife Cooking Oil has come out with a very meaningful video. The video has gone viral in Facebook- in fact I’ve watched it a few times because I am very touched by this video.

In the video, the daughter, Ying Ying is very upset  because she had to help her mother do the cooking for the Chinese reunion dinner. She said if her brothers love to eat so much, why not they come back and help her…why she had to be the only one helping? I think she portrayed the sentiments that those who felt they are doing all the work. She was also resentful that her mom brought up the significance of family unity and also her childhood…. mainly because she has forgotten those memories.

Suddenly she got transported back in time in 1978 where she got to see her parents, who were young then with her younger self and brothers. She saw how much her parents and her brothers love her. She then understands, goes back to the present, cried and apologised to her mom. She said she would be helping her mother with the cooking.

The video ends with the entire family happily celebrating the eve of Chinese New Year.

Happy Chinese New Year and may this year brings you happiness, joy and health.

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