A Chinese descendant who doesn’t celebrate Chinese New Year
People would say, would it be possible? Why wouldn’t you search those angpao tradition with your cousins?
Firs of all, I’m sorry if this publication contains racism outside of my knowledge. I just want to clarify people who constantly asking me about celebrating this day.
I remember the day I arrived in Bandung to start my 4th semester, I was reminded by my mom that I should go home for Chinese New Year (i will abbreviate it as CNY for the rest of my publication), and I did. Evening of 27th January, I went back to Cibubur and would spend my time here until morning of 29th January (I wrote this on 28th). At this date also, I asked almost clearly about my identity and why don’t I celebrate CNY.
Yes, you may shock. I don’t celebrate CNY.
When people meet me for the first time, they will always see my Chinese side of me, becaue of my slightly slant-eyed. But several people told me that when they first saw me, they knew that I’m not purebred Chinese (even there were a couple of people that asked me if I have some Bataknese lineage, in which I, as far as I believe, don’t have). Mostly I believe that I’m half Chinese and half Javanese, and that’s one of the reason why my family don’t celebrate CNY.
But there are several people whose mix-blooded and still searching for angpao. I do that tradition with my grandmother from my father’s side (even she always give the angpao on New Year because I only meet her once a year, at Christmas holiday). But from my mother’s side, the tradition is long gone.
When finally I asked my mom why didn’t my family celebrate CNY, she said it was the after-effect of the New Order timeline in Indonesia that made Chinese culture died out on that time. Even when the new President wanted to revive Chinese cultures, my mother’s family had already lost the culture and couldn’t teach the culture into my generation. So besides angpao, I never knew any cultures related to CNY.
It was tragic, I think, to never know and feel the detail of a culture from my half descendant, but I thank God I finally know how an event of history affects my knowledge of my culture.
I know there are some people who has the same fate as I am because of the after-effect of New Order. For people who feel it, there is an option to learn it and live it, through internet and asking people who still do the cultural tradition. But for me personally, I just want to know the culture, but I have a great doubt to live the culture.