Its that wonderful time of the year when one treasures all things Chinese. Normally I would just be talking about food but for once, its about the celebrations all around for Chinese New Year. Its a bit special for me as it is the year of the dragon which has been lucky for me in the past and in 2000, which was the Year of the Double Dragon, my daughter Tash was born. (If you think I have a dynamite personality, you gotta meet this kid who on top of being a Double Dragon was born under the sign of Scorpio). All I can say is OUCH! But I love her and wouldn’t have it any other way as she keeps life exciting and I learn heaps of stuff from her almost every day.
In Malaysia and Singapore, it was so much fun to be around town during this period where for once, the city people actually take time to breath. As a student, I certainly received a lot of ‘Ang Paos’ from my older Chinese friends and absolutely loved the prosperity lunches and dinners. I still have not decided what to give my daughter tonight in her red ang pao packet when I explain the whole concept, cultural significance to her about CNY. I loved the red lanterns and dragon dances in particular during this period in the KL, PJ and Subang Jaya areas of Malaysia. And Orchard Road in Singapore during this time is magic.
I am glad for once that close friends define me as the diva with splashes of red….during this time, red is meant to be a lucky colour so to add to my red carpets, candles, lamps & cushions and feathers, I am making extra effort to add more red elements into my house for the next 15 days to celebrate. I wish the dragon on my desk was red and not green but that would totally destroy my feng shui side of things – oh well!
Because I lean more towards Mandarin when addressing all things Chinese, I say Gong Xi Fa Cai as greeting but a few friends of mine are from the Cantonese orientation and they greet friends saying Kung Hei Fat Choi (Philip, note I did remember the phrase this time). I wish my Chinese friends a prosperous new year and I could certainly do with a better year this time around for sure.
Talking about prosperity meals, today I prepared a special prosperity toss (yee sang) which is a combination of fish and vegetables of different colours. I hope this brings me good luck, prosperity, longevity, health and wealth. On Thursday, I will be having a special prosperity meal prepared by my favourite Chinese Chef at Shangri-la Dubai. Cant wait!
Speaking of cultural fusion, NJD and I just returned from the Dubai Berlin fashion show held from 8.30-9pm at the Pavilion. It was cool to see how 8 designers hailing from Germany and UAE used the abaya as their focal point to create designs fusing fabrics, cuts, styles from the 2 countries. Very nice indeed. We certainly love cultural influences on all fronts.
Hope the Water dragon brings happiness and harmony to all.