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FEATURE ARTICLE
8 Types of Relatives You Encounter at CNY Gathering

1. Your Life Planner
Once you hit the right age for marriage, you start preparing weak excuses like, "I'm focusing on my career right now" only to find them reminding you how old your parents are getting and how far behind you are. Be prepared for a follow up next year.

Relatives' sequence of action
你几岁? 有没有男朋友/女朋友啊?(How old are you this year? Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?)
When's your turn to get married?
When can your parents 抱孙子?' (When will you make your parents Grandparents?)

Route of escape
Complete all three stages: Date, marry, have children.

 

2. The Silent Distant Cousin
They are the distant cousins that come around once a year and retreat into the background. They avoid eye contact at all expense. They might also be the ones your parents claim you were once very close with but somehow you can no longer relate to this.

Relatives' sequence of action
No conversation takes place.
They whip their cellphone out and start messaging desperately.

Route of escape
Be polite. Smile and eat the New Year goodies. They don't require much from you.

 

3. The Competitive Ones
Our school results, school applications and our jobs are the trending topics in these annual meetings. We shrivel each time our parents or close relatives take full advantage of their bragging rights to announce our small achievements.

Relatives' sequence of action
Your daughter applied to which school?
Your boy started work already? Where?

Route of escape
Your parents will appreciate you being humble too. No lah, No lah...

 

4. The ‘Bestest'-of-the-Hostess
You're bursting at the seams after the 3rd house visit of the day. But the ‘Bestest'-of-the-Hostess auntie insists you try the plethora of snacks she has prepared. You're thinking to yourself, "Tolong lah, enough food already" or maybe some of you are beaming inside because you were too shy to help yourself to more.

Relatives' sequence of action
吃多一点!Eat, eat, eat! Don't Paiseh!

Route of escape
Eat extremely slowly. Always make sure you still have food on your plate.

 

5. M.I.A. (Missing in Action)
While we all have at least one relative who loves to host these annual gatherings, others are less enthusiastic. They are the ones who have planned getaways to escape the hustle and bustle of the festive, leaving some of us in complete envy.

Relatives' sequence of action
Where is Xiao Yi? Holiday again?

Route of escape
Do not comment. It's a trap question.

 

6. The Gambling Addicts
Mahjong, Blackjack, DaiDi...you name it, they play it. They gather in groups and round up all the loose change they can find. It's as if they found the perfect reason to unleash the monster in them once a year. They will not leave until the next morning.

Relatives' sequence of action
来啊! 来啊! 打麻将! (Come, come, play Mahjong!)

Route of escape
In all honesty, tell them if you don't know how to play. Unless you are one of them.

 

7. The Confucius
They enjoy imparting family values to the younger generation and stories from long before your time. More often than not, these are your elders.

Relatives' sequence of action
Wa Ga Li Gong ( Let me tell you...)
Boy 啊, last time when Ah Gong was your age...

Route of escape
Honour your elders and reaffirm the timeless value of family and kinship. You may even glean important tips from them.

 

8. The Chatterboxes
The younger cousins are left to smile awkwardly at each other lest they interrupt the adults' passionate sharing. But even the most engaging conversations have pauses long enough to identify the inactive participants. When they finally realise you can't answer a single question, you will be categorised under the "Jia Kang Dang" (Ang Moh) unit.

Relatives' sequence of action
Aiyo, 你儿子很静leh.听不懂华语? (Why is your boy so quiet? Cannot understand Mandarin?)

Route of escape
Remain status quo to avoid answering difficult questions.

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