This whole week is all about Chinese New Year and family connections. Throughout the week, we had many wonderful conversations, chatting with relatives through phone and social media. One of the topics from the conversations that really stood out was: “When we do we see you guys again?” or “Will you be coming back to Malaysia this year?”, “Will you be back for Cheng Beng?”…

Now that Chinese New Year is almost over, many people will be making plans to travel back for Cheng Beng (old souls day), which is in April.

I have friends in Australia that will fly back to Malaysia on special occasions like Cheng Beng, Chinese New Year or when we are celebrating someone’s special birthday celebration, i.e. 90th birthday or 100th birthday, or weddings.

So the question today is why would relatives travel from various parts of the world to meet on these occasions? Why do we still do that?

So think about it, why do we still call our relatives and friends or travel back to our birth country on these occasions?

The possible reasons would be:

When we live far away, our culture, rituals or our way of life, is being diluted as we assimilate in the culture of our adopted country. So, we are using these special festivities to regroup relatives from overseas.

The rituals of Chinese New Year or Ancestor’s day are good examples. When we bring our children back to our birth country, we are actually:

  1. Sharing our culture with them, what our ancestors have passed down for so many years. We can learn about the rituals and traditions of what and why this ceremony is performed.
  2. It may not be your children’s culture, but it would be an educational experience for them to understand their heritage, even if they did not like it.
  3. It is a great opportunity for children to meet their relatives that they may not know, as relatives from far and wide normally use this occasion to meet and catch up with other family members. Thus use this as an opportunity for your children to meet up and get to know each other, as this is one of very few occasions where relatives have the time to meet up, to sit down, communicate, connect and bond together.
  4. Normally during these special occasions, the family will be preparing sumptuous dishes to welcome the guests. It would be a great opportunity for the younger generations to learn about the traditional dishes and sweets that are specially made for this occasion.
  5. Introduce your birth country to your children. Travel with your relatives and take advantage of the opportunity to see be a tourist as well as creating more time to bond and getting to know each other better.

Family connection times are precious, and they are getting few and far between nowadays, especially when family members live so far away from each other. Take advantage of these special occasions to bond and connect with relatives. Don’t wait; remember, when you have the time, they may not have the time for you.

What are your reasons for your travelling?