Lunar Chinese New Year 2017

First day of Year of Rooster in Melbourne, a summery day spent with blue sky, sunscreen and ice teas. To join the celebration, I went to Crown by the side of Yarra River, an alternative Asian Chinese gathering precinct in the CBD other than laneways of Chinatown.

On the big screen outside of Crown, Serena Williams won Australian Open Women’s Single over her sister Venus Williams — A happy day for the Williams sisters, so does it seem for most of the Asian-looking people who spent endless time and money at the Casino tables inside Crown on that day, or at least at face value.

I got corrected at work a few days ago, for calling the New Year “Chinese New Year” rather than “Lunar New Year”, because apparently for Asian Chinese who do not come from China but also celebrate the New Year, they would prefer to use the word “Lunar”… It’s interesting to think about the connotation behind that — to downplay the “Chineseness” side of New Year.

The hustle and bustle of people at Crown’s riverside night market has a good resemblance of the New Year shopping crowd in China. Other celebration features include lion-dancing, fireworks, and display of the Zodiac Lanterns, which all attract a great deal of crowds and cameras.

Lunar Chinese New Year in Melbourne, a quick dose of Chinese culture accompanied by  the colour of red, sound of drum from lion-dancing, and an influx of foreign wealth, largely fulfills people’s curiosity towards this traditional festival and brings deeper understanding or misunderstanding of the culture.

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First dinner for Year of Rooster, at a Thai restaurant, due to not being able to get a booking at preferred Chinese restaurant.

 

Delicacy or Bizarre Food

I spotted many Asian delicacies in James Corden’s “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts”. Not sure if the production team was inspired by internet posts like this or Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Bird’s saliva seems to have appeared in a few episodes, but I wonder how much actual bird’s saliva is in that cocktail glass, as a small quantity of decent quality bird’s saliva can sometimes cost a fortune.

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When some of the food above were presented as “gross”“disgusting” and “horrific”during the show, it does trigger some amusing effect to see celebrities literally “spill their guts” in front of these food – whether it’s a true reaction or just a form of act.

Food is probably another strong aspect of everyday life that defines a type of culture other than language. I could just imagine that food like meat Pâté, blue cheese and jellied eel (or maybe a vegemite/marmite juice? ) would receive the same reaction if there was ever a similar show in China.

Besides, I noticed that SPAM is also categorised as “bizarre food” in this episode, maybe that’s prepared for some female celebrities who only eat kale, which certainly represents a very trendy subcultural group.

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