Kay poh relatives, competitive aunties and screaming children: 11 types of people at CNY gatherings

Kay poh relatives, competitive aunties and screaming children: 11 types of people at CNY gatherings
PHOTO: Pexels

??????The Lunar New Year is just around the corner, which?means that it's that time of the year again to meet your extended family.?

And at every?gathering, you're bound to meet certain?kinds of relatives.?

We've rounded up some of the ones you're probably going to bump into during the festivities — which category do you fall into?

The kay poh aunties and uncles

No Chinese New Year gathering is complete without at least one kay poh (prying) auntie or uncle.?

While others see the festivities as a chance to catch up with family, these relatives want a little bit more during these?sessions — to get all the latest, juicy gossip.?

Speaking to?such aunties or uncles might make you feel like you're being interrogated by the FBI?as they'll bombard you with plenty of? questions.?

For the kids, you'll probably be asked what your most recent grades are, what elite school you're vying to get into, as well as what tuition classes you're?attending?for your 'O' or 'A' levels.?

If you're a?working adult, you'll?probably get questions about your relationship status, whether you plan on having kids, as well as your salary.?

The competitive auntie or uncle who thinks their NUS Medicine school daughter is better than your NTU Medicine?school son

Another category of uncles and aunties are the ones who want their offspring to be better than everyone else's.?

These parents are constantly bragging about their children's achievements, whether it be how they snagged first prize at a fencing competition, their stellar academics, or how they have moved up to grade eight in piano.?

And when they hear of another kid?who is on par or?doing better, they?show visible unhappiness.?

The A-sian kids who need to study?

These are usually the children of the competitive aunties and uncles.?

To save their parent's face during family gatherings, they have to work hard and attain good grades.?

And if they're Asian, their parents won't take anything less than an A.?

As such, you'd probably find them studying all the time, even during the festive period like Chinese New Year.?

While everyone is gathered around the living and dining room area, you'd usually find these kids huddled up in a bedroom or quiet corner of the house with a pile of assessment books.?

The grandma who won't stop feeding you

Many grandmothers show their love with food and so they will find every opportunity to feed anyone they care for.?

At the dinner table, they?will?be the ones constantly piling?food onto their loved one's plates and encouraging everyone?to eat more.?

And even if you're stuffed to the brim, that won't stop them from asking you to take one more serving of pen cai (a traditional Cantonese?dish that is usually served during Chinese New Year).??

It doesn't stop there. When you try to leave the house, grandma is always the one who packs?the leftovers for you to bring home.?

Sometimes, they even give you enough food to last all 15 days of Chinese New Year and beyond.?

The grandpa who tries to eat things that he is not supposed to eat

When grandma is busy trying to make sure her family is well fed, grandpa takes the opportunity to sneak in a few things that he shouldn't be eating.?

At his age, there are some foods he should avoid, such as goodies?that have high cholesterol or too much sugar.?

But who can resist some crackling roast duck? Or a jammy pineapple tart? We can't and we don't blame grandpa for being tempted.

However, we still need to make sure he stays healthy so everything should be eaten in moderation. Sorry, grandpa.?

The snack gobblers?

Most?households would have a?table piled high with tubs of goodies like bak kwa,?love letters and dried shrimp rolls.?

These are free for all so it isn't surprising to see people sitting near the snacks?and stuffing their faces.?

With or without realising it, these snack gobblers may wipe out a whole tub of goodies?by themselves. Oops.?

And while the festivities are an excuse to put that diet on pause, it's still good?to remember that many of these goodies are chock full of calories?— you don't want to look like a round pineapple tart yourself at the end of the 15th day of Chinese New Year.?

The gamblers?

Apart from the?food and visiting loved ones, another big part of Chinese New Year is the gambling.?

And some people take this very seriously.?

Several of them will pull up the mahjong table and have a very intense, noisy session.?

Others will set up a mini casino with games such as blackjack, baccarat and poker.?

And of course, there is the dreaded game of in-between, which?can either make you very poor or very rich.?

Often times, you'd see guests digging into the red packets to use up their $2 notes on such games.?

And they either leave the table with an empty red packet or a bulging one.?

The cousin who wants to introduce?the whole family to their new partner

Chinese New Year is also the time of the year where young adults introduce their new boo to the whole family.?

This is usually a significant moment for them as it's a sign that they want to take their girlfriend or boyfriend more seriously.?

But it's?a stressful moment for the partner as well as they'll worry about making a good first impression.?

The?kaypoh aunties and uncles that we talked about previously also love it when such introductions happen?because it means there's someone new in the family they can?gossip about.

The new in-law who is trying to fit in

Once upon a time, these?in-laws were?the new partner who awkwardly met everyone for the first time during Chinese New Year.?

And after marrying into the family, they now have to try and fit in?too.?

This can be hard for some because there may be differences between their own family customs and their partner's one.?

Introverts may also struggle to open up and be themselves.?

But some extroverted in-laws will fit in perfectly and probably be seen chatting to everyone in the room.?

The newborn baby everyone is fawning over?

Another?new addition to the family that gets everyone excited are?babies.?

They'll definitely be the centre of attention too.?

Yes, they're?usually a screaming, crying mess. But how can one resist those chubby cheeks and bread-roll-like arms?

While?it can be tempting to touch or?pick up the infant?for the first time, do remember to seek permission?from their parents first!?

The screaming and crying children

We have the screaming babies and we also have the more grown-up version of them — children.?

Family gatherings will likely have at least one?child screaming or crying, whether it be because they want?attention or?their favourite snack isn't available.?

And it's even more difficult?when they have a short attention span because it'll mean that it's harder to keep them occupied.?

ALSO READ:?Henry Thia finds festive preparations stressful and tiring

melissateo@asiaone.com?

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