Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Celebrating Chinese New Year in France

I got pretty homesick this year during Chinese New Year. It is due to the fact that my aunt is here plus it would had been nice if Aelig could celebrate this festival with my family back in Malaysia. Well, sometimes life is tough and we can't always do what we want, so I decided to celebrate CNY with family (my in laws last week) and friends here. I would love to invite more friends but our apartment is too tiny to be able to include more people.

Hubby prepared his signature dish Guacamole as appetizer. We then presented this cheated version of Yu Shang. I said cheated because we couldn't get the real ingredients so we improvise by replacing them by green apple, green and red pepper, cucumber plus homemade sauce.

The Malaysian Chinese usually have Yu Shang during the 7th day of CNY, which is also known as "human day". Yu = Fish, Shang = life. This dish should have 7 colors plus raw fish, and before start eating it we use chopstick to stir all the items together, with the hands holding chopstick moving to the highest up the better as it signifies lively and prosperous year ahead. The height could mean climbing up the corporate ladder, the higher the better.

We had steamboat and grill chicken + seafood. I love having steamboat as it senses festival and conviviality. We omitted some ingredients such as different kind of fish balls (the French don't like it) and various soya bean products (except taufo as we couldn't find them in the Asian store nearby).

Aelig also joined in the party.

Aelig and her little friend R got their CNY ang pao.

How can we not have mandarin orange during CNY? We also had the fortune cookies, funny that the message we got in French is totally different from what was written in Chinese. Our friend prepared us some delicious mango muffin as dessert.

I called my family at Malaysia time 12.15am while they were celebrating the Tian Gong festival. We heard firecrackers loudly and continuously, it reminisced us the good moments we had in Malaysia during our visit in 2007. I can't help but compared Christmas here and CNY in Malaysia. Christmas is an family event and the cold keeps most of the people indoor whereas CNY is for family and friends and in Malaysia we get to celebrate it at warm and humid weather, thus having people staying outside whole night for chatting and firecrackers. One is peaceful, one is merit with loud voices.


  1. Hi Bee Ean,
    I was surfing the net to look for info about getting married to French nationals & came across your blog. It was really interesting reading some of your stories & experiences living in France. My boyfriend & I are planning to get married & I would love any advice you may have. If you have facebook, you can add me 'Joanne Suraya' or my emails's josuraya@yahoo.com. Do drop me a line.
    Warmest regards,

  2. U just reminded me that I didn't give ang bao to my daughter during CNY. It completely escaped my mind. Oh dear! I hv to be more Chinese like u and instill a bit of Chinese culture in her.