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Then VS Now: M’sians Share How CNY Celebrations Have Changed Over the Years 


Guinness Feat Image 5
Source: Amazon & Lana Chang

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the largest celebrations among Malaysians of Chinese descent. While the festivities and customs remain the same over the years, we’ve noticed some interesting generational differences in CNY celebrations. 

Therefore, we asked fellow Malaysians to share how CNY celebrations have changed within their families. Let’s find out what they have to say!


1. Addressing distant relatives 

“Growing up, my mother would ensure that we address each and every family member using the correct family terms, no matter how distant the family member is. For instance, “biao yi” (表姨) refers to my mother’s female cousin, and “yi po” (姨婆) refers to my grandmother’s sisters. My children, on the other hand, prefer calling everyone uncle or aunty.” —Chan, 30 

Using precise and accurate family terms does not only preserve the family traditions, it is also an etiquette to indicate respect while addressing our family members. While this can be done easily with our immediate or close family members, address terms can become tricky for distant relatives! This is when some families prefer simplifying address terms to merely “uncle” and “aunty”. 

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2. Dealing with “matchmakers”

“I used to see my aunt introducing potential boyfriends or girlfriends to my elder cousins every CNY. But now that we can make new friends easily online, she no longer needs to help us find a partner.” —Yan, 27 

There are always “kepoh” aunties and uncles who are eager to help us find our future boyfriend or girlfriend. But before they start describing the potential candidates they have in mind, we can show them how easy it is to make friends on social media, and how dating apps come in handy!

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3. Improvising strict rituals 

“My parents were very fussy about CNY rituals, they followed every rule to steer clear of all signs of bad luck, such as cleaning and decorating the house excessively. They believed that if we don’t begin the year ‘right’, something unfortunate will happen to us throughout the year.” —Lam, 33

Instead of practising strict rituals, we’re more eager to save money and time during the festive season. Hence, we tend to opt for minimalistic practices, such as merely doing the necessary chores and putting up fewer decorations. After all, CNY is about spending quality time with our loved ones, right? 



4. Playing different games 

“When I was a child, CNY was my favourite occasion, as my cousins and I would play shuttlecocks all day long! I rarely see children playing the shuttlecock nowadays, the TV and gadgets have become their main sources of entertainment.” —John, 38

Traditional games like mahjong, Chinese yo-yo, and shuttlecock used to be fun activities to strengthen the bonds between families during CNY. Now that we have more options for entertainment, like video and mobile games, most of us rarely spend our CNY playing traditional games. 



5. Making meaningful connections 

“CNY is when I make time for my family, engaging in meaningful conversations and catching up with each other. But now, I can see my cousins spending more time on their smartphones than with their family members.” —Kyle, 31

These days, whether it’s for work, entertainment, or socializing, most of us have our sight glued to gadgets all the time. As a result, we tend to overlook the chances to bond with our family, especially during the festive season. This CNY, it’s about time we put down our phones and establish meaningful connections with our loved ones! 

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6. Preparing meals hassle-free

“Every year, my mother insists on preparing the meals for our family of 25. Consequently, she’ll spend the whole day in the kitchen tirelessly preparing the dishes. Now that she has aged, we prefer to tapao some dishes to prevent her from overworking.” —Ming, 29

Cooking for a big family can be a tiresome chore. Besides having to prepare a lot of ingredients, there are also many dishes, woks, and cutleries to wash. How tedious is that?! Being occupied with these chores, we tend to spend less time with our family around the dining table—where the most meaningful conversations usually happen! 

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This CNY, why not save yourself the hassle of cooking and start ordering meals instead? Other than lessening the chores, you also get to spend more quality time with your family! Besides ordering food delivery, you can also WIN a free banquet by Guinness for you and your family by participating in an exciting contest that allows Malaysians to celebrate a unique CNY with their beloved family!

Just share your CNY plans in the #GuinnessCNY contest post and stand a chance to win the exclusive #CelebrateForReal Chatterbox and a Guinness-infused banquet dinner!

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More excitingly, #GuinnessMY will be selecting 70 winners throughout the campaign! What’s more, the special CNY feast is for 10 pax—you can enjoy it with your family members! Besides, the #CelebrateForReal Chatterbox comes in handy when you hang out with your relatives, as it consists of: 

  • Conversation starter cards 
  • Snacks 
  • Guinness products

Can’t wait to win the prizes already? Follow the simple steps below:

  1. Starting today until 31st January 2022, share how you plan to celebrate CNY in the comments section of this post.
  2. Tag 3 family and friends you’re eager to meet this CNY.

And that’s it! Through the #GuinnessCNY contest, Guinness encourages Malaysians to spend quality time with their loved ones, establish meaningful connections, and truly celebrate CNY together. 

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So, fill your CNY plan with TONS of events and share it with Guinness! We hope you bring home the exclusive #CelebrateForReal Chatterbox and the CNY feast. Good luck! 

However, do note that this contest is for non-Muslims aged 21 and above only. While celebrating the festive season, #GuinnessMY wants to remind all customers to drink responsibly, obey the SOPs, and do not drink and drive. 

For more information regarding the #GuinnessCNY contest, follow Guinness on Instagram.


How have CNY celebrations changed within your family? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Amazon
Source: ejinsight
Source: Lana Chang
Source: Culture Trip

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