Yes, it's the second day of CNY and I have not been out of the house at all. Didin't do any visiting or attend any dinner/lunch. I told myself, this year is going to be different, very different from the traditional ways.
No tea serving ceremony to my parents. Didn't even put the money in ang pow for them. Have only received 1 ang pow, which is from my mom.
Didin't become vegetarian for the day and was happily eating prawns.
Am I rebelling?
No, I just don't want to condition myself to traditions and cultures that doesn't have any meaning, unlike Sahaj cultures. It's been years that I was just following the traditions and cultures which over the years, some were created by my family, some were brought down from generations.
Like, you cannot sweep or mop the floor on the first day of CNY. It is believed that if you do that, you are sweeping your fortune out of your house. This, my parents still practices although it doesn't mean anything. As Sahajis, we know that everything is given by Divine. We don't lose something, just by sweeping, especially if it only applies to the first day of CNY. What about other races who does sweep and mop on this day? Will they be losing their fortune too?
You are not suppose to say anything negative during the CNY period. You are not suppose to shed any tears too. It is believed that if you do, then the whole year you will be negative and you will be crying. I remember many years ago, when I was 10, my mom gave me a necklace to wear for CNY. It was a pearl necklace. Somehow, on the first day of CNY, I broke it and was so scared to get scolding from my mom, I hid in my room and cried. My mom found me but didn't scold me, and just said it's OK. Hmm....very unlike my mom, but hey it's the first day of CNY. Remember you are not suppose to say anything negative. Not even scolding. How I wish everyday is like CNY sometimes.
My parents created these traditions. We have to become vegetarian for a day as the Buddhist believe that it is bad karma to eat animals. So, on first CNY day, all of us must eat vegetarian and cannot break as you are doing a good deed and doing so, the whole year will be a good year (eventhough you start eating meat on the second day onwards).
Also, on the first CNY day, we must dress in our new clothes and early morning, must wish our parents something good. You know in Chinese they have this couplet thing, so we just wish them something, serve Chinese tea to them, take photos and receive our ang pows. That was done many years ago, until my sister got married and I am left off the hook. This is a good thing to remind us of filial piety and to respect our parents. So, I don't mind doing this even now.
So, how come I am not doing anything like that now? After doing it for so many years, I realise that some of this cultures and traditions are making me very condition and thus giving me a left agnya catch. I have been having this catch for so long and enough is enough. If there is some culture or tradition to follow, there has to be meaning to it. Not just blindly doing it just for the sake of doing. So, like Sahaj culture, we have to meditate twice a day. That is for our spiritual ascent. So, yes that we should do.
CNY is all about money. How much you receive and how much you get back. From the pre-CNY days to the post-CNY, it's all about money. Pre-CNY - buying those food stuff and mandarin oranges to be given to others and get some in return. The Chinese does this during visiting. As I am not required to do any visiting yet (not married), so I don't have to worry about this. But I have seen my parents, they will have to search for which hypermarket offers the best price and then have to rush there and get as there will be many Chinese thinking the same too. So, pre-CNY is the time when jam is the worst. So, that's how money is involved.
During CNY, those married people will have to think how much to give, whether they will profit or loss. Unmarried people and children will be happily receiving ang pow. Children are very innocent, so it doesn't matter how much they receive. They will be happy to receive anything. As for unmarried people, which means working adults at a marriageable age but still single, some relatives will be giving ang pow to them reluctantly, some will be pestering them so that their kids will receive ang pow from this unmarried people soon (once they get married) and some will say...ah, you have started working already, so no need so much ang pow money now, so I am giving you very little only. This is the time we get to see who is generous and who is miserly. Money again.
Also during CNY, many Chinese will take this time as an opportunity to gamble. From mahjong to cards. Whenever there's any gathering, be sure the casino will open. So, there's money game again.
Post CNY, life will be back to normal. Many Chinese will evaluate how much they have gain or loss during this period. Gains from gambling and ang pow money. Loss from gambling and ang pow money. My parents will also see whether what they receive (the visiting stuff) is sufficient or able to cover what they have given. Money money money.
Enough of money talk. There's more to it than money, I am sure. Since young I have felt that and told my mom that. Unfortunately, she thinks that money is everything. Without money there's no life. Without money there's no health. Without money there's no education. True, you need money, but it is not everything, I told her. FYI, my parents worked in a factory 7 days a week on shift. Both worked in the same factory and on separate shifts. So, I only get to see 1 parent 1 week due to the shift time. There's 3 shifts. Morning shift - from 6am to 2pm (plus OT is up to 6pm). Afternoon shift - from 2pm to 10pm (plus OT is up to 2am). Midnight shift - from 10pm to 6am. Each week there's a different shift. I like it when my parents on morning shift, then I get to see them more. Afternoon shift, if I am in morning school, then I won't get to see them because usually they will work OT. Midnight shift, is the time you are not suppose to disturb as they needed this time to sleep and rest due to the irregular hours. Undoubtedly, my parents brought in money from working like this. My mom enjoys the money making process. But me and my sister didn't. We lost the time to spend with them. We spend more time with our caretaker than them. So, money cannot buy everything. Money cannot buy time.
Another reason why I am 'rebelling' is because last year was the second year my sister got married and have to spend her CNY with her in-laws, therefore leaving me to spend time with relatives alone. So, as usual, I just follow my parents visiting and then relatives after relatives, one after another, pestering me about not getting married, still receiving ang pow at this age, already up in the ladder of success but not giving ang pow, shame shame. I came back home feeling more unhappy than before listening to all of this. I should have just witness all of this nonsense and not react, but I react too quickly and became unhappy during CNY. Then I was dreading visiting anyone, or attend any dinner or functions. Rather shut myself up in my room.
This year, after Vashi, a lot of things has changed for me. I have grown more mature and learn to deal things my way and not succumb to any other people's plan. So, I told my parents that this year I will not do any visiting and will not attend any dinner or lunch (unless I feel it's OK). I am breaking away from tradition. They can still go ahead and do what they want to do, but I am off the hook, taking myself off. I will just spend time with my friends and have party with my friends. Friends means Sahaj friends. So, this year is different and I am feeling so much happier not meeting those relatives of mine. I will meet them somehow, when they all come to my house for a gathering which is coming soon, but by then I will be a host and they cannot be rude to me. Ha ha.
Hope everyone have a joyful Chinese New Year and may that joy grows everyday.