Thursday, 11 February 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

I think today is Chinese New Year so, 'Gong Xi Fa Cai', which translates to 'Wishing you prosperity in the New Year'. There seems to be various diffent spellings including, 'Kong Hei Fatt Choy' and I think I've seen others but they all seem to be pronounced the same. I think that this is the year of the tiger. The photo shows my dad and mum attending the Chinese New Year celebrations in February 1966 at KD Malaya. I seem to remember us all going up to the base in Singapore and there being fantastic firework displays but I think that this must have been on a different night to the Chinese Dinner and Dance that my parents went to. Perhaps it was on the same day as it always got dark at 7pm so maybe we left earlier before our parents' party began. As you can see, I still have the original invite which says that the party was on the 19th February, 1966 at 8pm. The evening included, 'Dancing to the Vigilantes', a Raffle, Spot Prizes, a Lion Dance and a Late Bar. There was also a Chinese meal which included Shark's Fin Soup, Satay Duck, Fried Rice and Ice Lai Chee.

I don't know what the last one is! I remember that when we first arrived at Jalan Wijaya, we were woken up by loud noises that we thought were gunfire. With the recent trouble with the Indonesians, my parents thought that we were under attack and that the noises were gunfire. It turned out that it was Mr Lee, across the way, letting off fire crackers for Chinese New Year. The fire crackers were very loud in those days and in subsequent years, they were banned. I probably slept through it all as, although I've been told the story many times, I don't remember any of it. I slept through the nearby rubber factory burning down too!


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