|(Image from: Google Images)|
One of the most interesting celebration of new year for me is the Chinese way. Because of their many different beliefs and rituals, they welcome the new year full of hope and optimism.
Two weeks after I moved to Singapore, I celebrated CNY for the first time together with my We Are Social family. Here, the Chinese believe that tossing up yu sheng (raw fish salad) symbolises luck, prosperity, good health, and all things good. The practice of mixing it together is called lo hei (also in Malaysia) which means tossing up good fortune in Cantonese. Yu which is “fish” in Mandarin, shares the same pronunciation with another character that stands for “abundance.” Each of the ingredients in yu sheng has significance like sesame seeds, which represents flourishing business and green radish for everlasting youth. As everyone partakes in mixing the salad, wishes are uttered to shower blessings to their lives for the year ahead.
For a first-timer, I was not bad in tossing but I don’t think I tossed enough for a promising year so I’ll back it up with hard work! 🙂
|BEFORE AND AFTER.|
We spent half day in the office going around the city to celebrate the new year with lo hei, tea, and childhood games! Plus, I got my first-ever ampaw!
|We Are Social family|
|The Bloom Cafe at night|
|The “cool lounges” of our favorite, The Blue Pumpkin|
|Chilling (with fast wi-fi) with Indonesian lovely friends, Dita & Chichi|
“The air is different here,” that was my first description of Siem Reap, the home of the largest Hindu temple of the world, (and the place that I was dreaming about exploring by boat for the past months) and a place for the second largest airport in Cambodia and most “touristy”.
As I wander around the town by foot and by the usual Tuk Tuk that they offer you in $1, I battled with my feeling of doubt. Am I in the right place?
I looked at the architecture, tried to converse in Khmer, asked curious things to prove my doubts wrong, then yes, I was lost.
The image of Cambodia that we traditionally grasp from the media that’s available to us feels different and surreal. I’m sure Angkor Wat is amazingly beautiful but talking about the “Cambodia now” doesn’t become a topic for most of us.
Cambodia is beyond temples.
TONLE SAP RIVER SETTLERS
I was surprised that there’s a tour to see the poverty in Cambodia in floating villages. I was asking myself if Cambodia is doing this to gather more NGOs and minimally solve the problem of these settlers for now by inviting the tourists to donate something to them to support their basic needs
We didn’t go to the traditional tour and decided to see how the family living in floating houses in Tonle Sap River near the street.
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
Like how we Filipinos adapt to the changing demands of our current society as the BPO Industry promises growth and slowly replaces our own language with English, I am seeing the similarity with Cambodia as it uses USD more than their Riel because of its growing demand in the tourism industry.
Nothing beats a quick drive or even an overnight peaceful trip to Tagaytay to recharge and slow down from the stressful city life. I put together a Tagaytay Peaceful Weekend Itinerary that you can add in yours. Have a peaceful one!