Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Chinese New Year

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Although I'm Portuguese Eurasian or Geragok (as some refer to us) our family celebrates Chinese New Year.

And because of my "rojak" (mixed Malaysian salad) background I was just reflecting on how we celebrate the occasion.

My partner being Chinese must go back to his family's place. And I've got to be at my Mum's and Dad's. Since we both want to celebrate and be together we've worked out a system where we run over to his Mum's place for a bit and then come back for a later dinner over at my place. Needless to say, this is not recommended behaviour for those who are worried about their girlish figure, since, to be polite, you have to stuff yourself at BOTH places.

In any case, because I was cooking this year, it got me thinking about how diverse and accepting our families are. Allan and I have been together long enough for his octogenarian Grandmother to be referring to my mother as his "Mother In Law." His Grandmother's words.

For one thing, I'm Eurasian but as a family we celebrate Christmas, Chinese New Year, and to a certain extent Raya (Ramadhan) because of my cousin. At CNY dinner this year, we had Yee Sang, and then went full fledged western with Consomme, Beef Wellington, and Passion Fruit banana Souffle.

On top of that my Mum asked us if our friend, S, who also happens to be gay, would like to come.

Although it get's somewhat crazy now and again, it's good being part of my family.


Good gracious! You are Eurasian? Are you originally from Melaka too? :O

Hey Paul, Yup, am Eurasian, and I suppose yes, you could say we originally came from Melaka. But it's been a long time since any of us have called Melaka home. Our surname is still on the rolls at the settlement. And we're proud of the identity but I'm afraid there are people in Malaysia who don't know us except as "dan lain lain." ;-)

I've always personally thought it was the most exotic, interesting category on the official forms. ;)

Hey Sneexe, Sorry I haven't replied. Got majorly sick (fever, sore throat etal) immediately after the wedding. ;)

As for exotic, I don't know lah. Would prefer we were just "Malaysians." At the end of the day, that's what Bangsa Malaysia's all about isn't it?

Frankly, my family can trace it's whereabouts to the late 18th Century and it's mostly Malacca. So a bit difficult to be identified as anything else.

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