Generation Gap: On Celebrating Chinese New Year

By Yuka Hayashi, February 1, 2019

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Generation Gap' is a monthly series where we talk to two Beijingers from two different generations about a random topic. This time we ask Cheng, 47 and Ma, 18 how they're spending their time off during Spring Festival.


How will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?

Cheng, 47 

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"I will be walking around my neighborhood in my home village in Sichuan. It sounds boring, just walking around a hutong, but I find it very heartwarming. I spend my entire year in a city like Beijing where everyone is always too busy to stop for a chat. In my hometown I can end up doing anything just by walking around, from eating and chatting to playing games. I’m pretty bad at those games, but hey, having someone you can win over in a game is always fun, right? I miss my family, especially my son, who is in high school. I only get to go back home during Chinese New Year so to say I’m excited would be an understatement. My son has been very busy with school – I hope I can give him some comfort and relaxation when I get back. I just can’t wait to sit around that huge round table with all my family members and close friends with home cooked Sichuan food!” 

Ma, 18

Generation-Gap-Ma.jpeg

“I’m staying with my family this year. I will be visiting my grandma who lives in the same compound as my classmate. It sounds awkward, I know. I think my Chinese New Year visit to my grandma’s place has been one of my favorite annual traditions. My grandmother on my mom’s side cooks the best Chinese cuisine, so I just hope I won’t gain too much weight! That’s why my plan also involves a daily visit to the gym. I will also be hanging out at my friend’s house a lot, just because I don’t get to do that too often these days – my school workload has been too heavy. We don’t have a legitimate plan yet, and I don’t think we ever will, so I guess we will be spontaneously going out throughout the vacation. I think the virtue of having no plan is that we get to enjoy the element of surprise and everything just seems fresh. Oh, and I will also be drinking a lot everyday… just kidding!” 

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