Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the year of the Rabbit.

I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I'm sure that there are a variety of auspicious reasons to be getting married or having kids or changing jobs and your hairstyle.

Chinese New Year at home always meant one thing - food. My mother would spend days in the kitchen preparing the traditional dishes that go with the celebration, each dish representing something to bring in the new year. I would only ever remember that shrimp brought laughter and that noodles meant long life.

Once my brothers moved away and the house got quieter, she would still insist on making the 10 course meal - even when it was just a handful of us gathered around the dinner table to get through that mound of food. I would invite friends who had never experienced Chinese meals outside of the realm of sweet and sour pork, and watch in amusement when they were encountered with whole steamed fish with heads still attached and that funny black fungus that looks like a clump of hair.

Last year I rang in Chinese New Year with my friend Jess on the slopes of Chamonix. To be honest, I kind of forgot about the holiday completely. This year though, I'm going back to my roots and will be having dinner with some friends at a Chinese restaurant in London. Only a handful of us are actually of Chinese descent, the rest are a random assortment of backgrounds - such is my life in London. One thing's for sure though, there will be food - lots of it. Because nothing says Chinese New Year more than a marathon dinner of endless courses and food comas.

Gung Hai Fat Choy

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