Family Gatherings

Just got back from a family gathering to celebrate my "lao gu's" (mom's uncle) 70th birthday. The funny thing was, all my uncles and aunties were not even sure why we were asked to attend his party (he didn't mention that it was gonna be his birthday celebration and his birthday is supposedly on the eve of CNY so nobody suspected anything).


So anyway, back to the party. The older generations like my parents, uncles and aunties will be squealing in delight all night long when they reunite with their cousins or uncles/aunties. But needless to say, the younger generations would be bored to death... I mean, there's only so many smiles one could flash around all night long... and heck, 80% of the people there looked foreign, but yet, we are expected to be a social-butterfly.


My father sounded me earlier for not shaking "lao kim's" hand when I would've swore I greeted her (loudly) and that I didn't see her intention of shaking my hand... - how would I know that it'll be so damn formal... after I greeted her, I scooted off... but nooooooooooo... that was very wrong of me...


So here's a quick guide to survive family gatherings:
  • Thou shall have -e-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-e- manners - Gone were the days where a greeting is good enough... you must now greet them AND shake their damn hands (whoever they may be) and bow slightly (just like the geishas). Why??? This is a 'simple' form of respect to the elders...
  • Thou shall be respectful even when asked the million dollar question "when are you getting married" - Best to just smile and keep quiet so that you don't spark off a series of unwanted probes into your social life. If you say not yet - they'll ask you when, if you say soon - they'll ask you when, if you say no plans yet - they'll ask you why - and then back to when... So you see, you'd be so much better off keeping quiet while flashing your million dollar smile
  • Thou shall mention your name as "so and so's daughter / son" - Live with the fact... they dunno you and they don't really care... but they know your parents... and will squeal in delight if they know you 'belong' to so and so...
  • Thou shall form your own cliche - Like me... I surround myself with my cousins... from standard 5 school going ones all the way to 28 years old working adults. That way, you don't have to endure conversations with unknown elders (and will probably have a jolly good time talking nonsense to your cousins - for believe me, they are equally as bored as you are)
  • Thou shall smile like a lunatic all night long - Doesn't matter if no one is watching you... but it is an unspoken rule that you must SMILE your million watt smile (just like a lunatic) all night long so as not to appear bored (altho you are seriously bored to death)... another one of those craps bout being respectful

So ya... those are the unspoken rules that we the younger generations must abide to. Although these people could be 3 generations apart, it's ok... just follow the above rules and you'll be fine!

4 comments:

February 3, 2007 at 10:32 AM Colin T. said...

still... it's nice that you have family gatherings. i hard had one family gathering which i can remember. perhaps it was last CNY. lol

February 4, 2007 at 5:33 AM cincailah said...

family gathering ar.. i think my last was when my grandma died?

February 5, 2007 at 6:44 AM Darren said...

thou shall take ur time taking food as chicken or noodles may fly into unwanted places ;)

February 5, 2007 at 8:18 AM "maemee" said...

as i was taking noodle from the buffet table, the stpid food plier/clamp went wide opened and I lost my grasp on it... noodles did fly everywhere... hehehehe...

how embarassing...

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