the year of the house


Every year without fail, my family would celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve with a reunion dinner and we will have our reunion dinner either at home or at a restaurant. This is a common practise amongst the Chinese community whom celebrates the Lunar New Year and it is a time when everyone in the family would get together to have a hearty meal.

For my family, the reunion dinner is an important occasion and it takes precedence over every other matters. In fact, for the reunion dinner this year, it is the first time that we shifted it to an earlier date so that my brother whom is working with the SPF can join us for the reunion dinner.

Furthermore, it is so common that nowadays, families are shifting their reunion dinners earlier and there are pretty good reasons for doing so. Just imagine, you go to a restaurant for reunion dinner and all the service staffs are just too busy to entertain you and furthermore, the dinner must be done within an hour as the next round of guests will be coming in to dine. Would this be an ideal setting for a reunion dinner?

Probably not. I feel that reunion dinner is one where there is no need to rush but one where everyone can slowly enjoy the delicious food and have good quality conversations with one another.

In all of the reunion dinners that I have with my family, it always begin with a “lo-hei” and there will be some “must-have” dishes such as fish, prawns, abalone, and scallops. Also, I would always look forward to eating a home-cooked vegetarian dish that my grandmother and mother would specially prepare for the occasion.

Now, what does the reunion dinner mean to me and why is it so important to have a reunion dinner?

For me, I consider myself fortunate just to be able to have a reunion dinner with my family and even as I go on to start my own family in future, I would definitely want to continue this tradition of having a reunion dinner with my parents no matter how busy I may be.

In Singapore, all of us are quite privileged because the travelling time from one place to another is usually short. But in other countries like China or even Malaysia, it can take hours just to travel from one city to another city. Yet, how often do we hear of people lamenting about the “long” distance that they have to travel just for a reunion dinner?

For the teenagers, reunion dinners can sometimes be boring probably because they are not engaged during conversations; for the adults, it could be an opportune time to flaunt and “profit”; but for some others, reunion dinners can be quite lonely.

I have shared what the reunion dinner means to me. Now, what does the reunion dinner mean to you?

Come and share your thoughts on National Family Council’s Facebook Page and you might receive an angbao of SGD$30 NTUC Vouchers.

Here’s wishing all of our readers a Happy & Prosperous Lunar New Year!