We Singaporeans are very lucky. We get two chances a year to put on that red dress (or red jeans), pig out on all sorts of food and allow two fat (red, may I add) men dominate our lives. Yes, I am talking about Christmas and Lunar New Year. However, for many of our foreign friends, Lunar New Year is not a familiar concept. Hence, imagine their surprise at arriving in Singapore long after Christmas to find the town still painted red (quite literally).
With this in mind, the Law School International Relations Club (LSIRC) organised an outing of sorts to Chinatown for the students on exchange with us. Last Friday, several of them and a few local counterparts from LSIRC trooped down to Chinatown for a meal of dim sum and browsing in the crowded but festive Chinatown market.
While the heavens poured just before the outing, we did not let this get our spirits down. The idea of a dim sum buffet was simply too good to resist.
Plate after plate of snacks — steamed, fried, stewed, you name it — came and gone and it was a good two hours before we left feeling extremely extremely stuffed.
No meal is complete without a good walk. Hence, we headed out onto the streets to browse the many goods — food, decoration, toys, more food — that the stalls were selling. Our friends were fascinated by the hustle and bustle of the place, the random shouting by the stall owners and the free-for-all sampling at every stall. But they were perhaps most surprised to see Singaporeans — gasp — littering!
Though we all left pretty sweaty and tired from all the walking, it was an extremely welcome way to soak up the festive mood. The consensus was that many of our foreign friends considered themselves extremely lucky to be in Singapore during Lunar New Year, for no other festival can match the liveliness and energy that this period brings. Happy Lunar New Year!
Article contributed by: Gerald Leong (Law 2)
Photography by: Edward Forth and Teri KianiÄkovÃ¡ (Exchange Students)