Around this period every year, jovial songs in Mandarin play in shopping malls, supermarkets and retail outlets. This year is, of course, no exception.
This year, I noticed fewer 'traditional' Chinese New Year songs being played. In their place are songs that are wholly unfamiliar or songs that are modern renditions of the 'classics'. It does feel that the introduction of too many new things is tamping the festive mood down a little.
Chinese New Year is a traditional festival. Let's not over-modernise it, lest it lose its charm and original meaning, as so many other festivals have.
That aside, I am looking forward to a fairly relaxed Chinese New Year. There will be a few visits but, generally, nothing too hectic. Just the way I like it. There isn't much point in exhausting yourself during over the next few days, is there? You'd just go back to work in a less-than-positive mood.
I am intending to be mindful of a couple of things over this Chinese New Year:
1) Be more willing to participate
Normally, I prefer to withdraw from most activities during this period, especially when crowds and noise are involved. This time, though, I'll be more purposeful in participating.
2) Be more observant of customs and behaviours
Never having much bothered with traditional customs in past years, I thought that it would be good to observe them a little more starting from this year. As a teacher, it's always good to add a little more material to my repertoire of examples and anecdotes.
All in all, I am thankful for being able to celebrate CNY here in Singapore and for the people with whom I will be celebrating it.
Here's to an un-stressful Chinese New Year and a great 2017 ahead!