Don’t be Fooled by All This Reunion

Don’t be fooled by the facade of your grand-aunt’s house, spick and span as it is, not so much a blemish on the wall. It wasn’t like this just four days ago. It was quiet, stale, mundane and everything this bustling house full of relatives clad in red tries to dissociate itself from. It runs from its horrid past, a quick sprint that happens once every year.

Don’t be fooled by your uncle asking you for your Major in University and your path in life, or telling you about the seeming madness of the working world he warns you against. He doesn’t care about any of it. He just wants to tide over the time, to perform a formality he has performed for over 50 years of his life and that you will too, for the next 50 of yours.

Don’t be fooled by your cousin who looks so good in his button on, who checks his Panerai every few minutes to make sure it’s still there. He has his insecurities too, and hopes that no one asks him too many questions. There are some cracks you can see appear; his willingness to dissolve into thin air and materialise somewhere else.

Don’t be fooled by the fun of Black-Jack. With every hand that you reveal, the excitement mounts and we seem closer than ever before. But in the end, all that holds us together is vice.

Don’t be fooled by the red packet that is presented to you over and over. But then again, if it isn’t meaningful conversations that unite us then maybe all this money can act as a viable substitute.

Don’t be fooled by the pineapple tarts and Bakkwa and Love letters that you shove into your mouth. They’re not good for health. But they’re good for giving you a break from the stifling small-talk.

Don’t be fooled by the Instagram pictures of families closer than ever before, clad in their best and giving the flashiest of smiles. Familial bonds often fall short of the precision of that tailored shirt.

Don’t be fooled by the two oranges you hold in your hand. If you look closely, they are neither perfectly round, nor smooth on the surface. They are in fact the definition of an imperfect whole.

Don’t be fooled by all this reunion. If you wanted reunion you would have done something about it in the 350 days you had before and after. You wouldn’t have waited for this particular time of year to practice this mere formality, to partake in this excruciating performance.




16 thoughts on “Don’t be Fooled by All This Reunion

  1. Dont be fooled by this douche who tries so hard to sound so deep when it can be summarized in a single sentence. Its exactly for the reason of tradition and a festive occasion that warrants and grants public holidays that give families and relatives a time set aside for such gatherings. Where else can you find a moment where your grandaunt from Beijing is free?

    If you dont wish to be fooled by everything you are skeptical of then you should not be fooled by the fear of death and just… be gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • But then again if i were gone, then you wouldnt stop to think and then subsequently comment about why chinese new year means something to you. A counter narrative doesnt just serve to reinforce itself, but helps you strengthen your own views you have as well, sometimes more so if they are in opposition. You have done so, and I am happy for that. We need more voices that say no, this is wrong. I normally write balanced posts, but challenged myself to write something less nuanced this time, I hope you get the drift. I dont deny that im a douche sometimes, but I certainly did not try to sound deep. Trying implies that I faked my voice which I didn’t; this is my voice and I’m glad to have one.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. CNY means different things for different people nowadays, not like back in ancient China where everyone from the same village depends on the same plot of paddy field for their rice and thus having the same fate, which is cause for rejoice and share the bounty of the previous year to conclude it with style, as well as to commemorate the beginning of the crop cycle in spring. But here, reunions become for the sake of reunion, comparison and gossip. And for people to judge you based on what you wear, say or drive.


  3. Totally misleading,the fact is Chinese new year is happen to all Chinese and also not to be forgotten about other races ,cos during cny…. have their off day or in lieu..and every one from older age person…they see their family and friends and younger one will enjoy receiving angpow from the elderly,blesses with gd word..and of cos on there other hand…younger generation might not like it ….Reason,..they will hear a loads of stuff may or maybe it doesn’t suit them…my one cent of thought..have fun and enjoy ur cny …is once a year..and I m almost I guess not every year I get a chance to celebrate it…hopefully this one cent of mine can be in gd hand….tysm n a happy all of u out there…


  4. Hey Justin,

    You have done it (gone viral) again. Congratulations!
    Again, a very relatable experience (Especially Para 2, which happens to be every now and then when my father is feeling it). I don’t hate this kind of experience nor am I exceptionally fond of it. Sometimes it defeats the purpose of the gathering, but sometimes, and very rarely so, I will chance upon some really genuine conversations and concerns, which makes things so much better.

    Wishing you a Gong Xi Fa Cai, Ji Xiang Ru Yi, Nian Nian You Yu to you and your family!

    ps kudos to shutting the naysayers down. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seriously I’m so in love with how you see the world and how you manage to express them so eloquently into words!! Dont ever stop writing.


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