With our Muslim friends having to endure doing Zoom hangouts for Hari Raya, Chinese New Year might not look that different for the extended family.
You might see your Grandma, or Great Aunt in person but you will probably miss out on seeing Niece #6 and Uncle #8.
Sadly, in the era of FaceTime, Whatsapp and Zoom, there’ll be no escape from THOSE questions.
Luckily, with our Cheat Sheet, survival is almost guaranteed.
Firstly, know who you’re dealing with.
Auntie Simi, for short, wants to know everything. Why you dye your hair purple? Why you spend so much on clothes for your dog? Study art can eat meh? For this type of personality, the key is to give them all the information. Bombard them with it until they see stars.
Your jovial uncle that loves asking somewhat inappropriate questions. Your boyfriend so tall, how you kiss? Your girlfriend a bit chubby, hor? For Uncle Chee Goh Pek, it’s best to pre-emptively end the conversation so it doesn’t go into M18 territory.
Uncle Papaya, as his name implies, is always better than you. His kids are smarter than yours, his wife is slimmer than yours, also his coffee is more expensive. The best way to deal with Uncle Papaya is to remain unfazed by his so-called accomplishments.
As you may now surmise, knowing which kind of personality you’re dealing with is very important because it will inform your approach.
Auntie Simi: Boy ah, why you no girlfriend yet?
Answer: Goooooot. Got too many, cannot decide who to bring mah.
Back this up by having a photo album on your phone of your Tinder dates with their physical attributes written down. Height, weight, cup size etc.
Uncle Chee: Boy ah, got girlfriend a not? Got picture let me see?
Answer: Not yet, I only want ( insert Korean celebrity name ). Excuse me, is there any more bak kwa?
Uncle Papaya: My son is getting engaged soon, you know. They are planning to wed at the St. Regis. Have you got a girlfriend?
Answer: That’s nice. My work life is currently too busy to allow for any external commitments outside of NetFlix.
Auntie Simi: Eh, you already ( insert age ) leh. Why you not married?
Answer: See you and uncle don’t want already.
Uncle Chee: Ah girl, your boyfriend so handsome. Why still not married?
Answer: He’ll still be handsome when it’s time to marry lah, Uncle Chee. Why so kanchiong?
Uncle Papaya: You are nearing the end of the optimal age for marriage, you know. Are you planning on marrying anytime soon?
Answer: Awesome has no expiry date, Uncle Papaya. Worry not for me.
Auntie Simi: Boy-boy, when you and girl-girl make baby?
Answer: We still practicing, Auntie.
Uncle Chee: Girl, you don’t want to marry meh? You all got problem is it? (waggles eyebrows suggestively)
Answer: No lah uncle, we bang every night. Sorry, I need to make a call to Town Council. My neighbour file noise complaint. See you later.
Uncle Papaya: You know, I have 5 grandchildren. One of them started talking at 2 years old. When are you planning to have children?
Answer: My cats are my children. Did you know Bobo knows how to open doors and Chacha knows how to fetch?
Auntie Simi: Boy-boy, you a bit fatter now hor?
Answer: Auntie, your hair now dropping more and more hor?
Uncle Chee: Girl, you got gain weight ah? Later nobody want how?
Answer: Actually, Uncle, people pay me to eat for them to see. It’s called mukbang. Here’s my Twitch/YouTube handle.
Uncle Papaya: Do you do ample exercise? Your waistline looks like it has increased in size.
Answer: Uncle Papaya, you comb your hair too much is it? Your hairline running away from your forehead.
The government is encouraging Singaporeans to use e-angpaos due to the pandemic. After all, it’s the more hygienic and greener option.
Here is a summary of electronic payment methods you can use.
If you’re using a DBS or POSB bank, chances are you are utilizing their PayLah! Service. If so, feel free to print out a T-shirt with a QR Code that your relatives can scan so they can pay you. Alternatively, wear a custom-made face mask with the QR Code instead.
Note: You don’t actually need a DBS/POSB account to use PayLah! services. If you have an account, the money transferred will go directly into your bank account. If not, it will go into your digital wallet, where it will sit until you transfer it to your bank account.
Google Pay is another electronic payment method that’s widely available in Singapore. Forgot your EZ Link card? Scan the credit card on your Google Pay account on your phone instead. You can also print a QR Code that will result in dollars appearing in your bank account. Also link-able to your PayNow account.
Currently, 9 banks that have offices in Singapore support PayNow. As long as you’ve signed up for PayNow and have your mobile number linked up to your bank account, people can pay you via PayNow.
So go forth and attend that reunion dinner with peace of mind, now that you’ve got the answers to Those Questions. And do make sure you’re keeping to the Safe Distancing Regulations!
Let us know what is your most dreaded Chinese New Year question on our Facebook page.