There's no denying that Chinese New Year will be different this time around
At the moment, we can’t have large gatherings or visit our friends and loved ones to spread the festive cheer. While this is all for the sake of keeping everyone safe, this also means CNY may look very different from our usual celebrations.
That's why Prudential has released a short film called The Reunion, and it focuses on themes of self-love and learning to choose happiness above all else :')
Grab a box of tissues, you’re gonna need it, trust me.
The story revolves around Jean, a photographer who’s facing difficulty at work. One day, the mental strain causes her to pass out, and she suffers a mild stroke. As she spends the days resting at her parents' home, she rediscovers the things that used to bring her joy and happiness.
The story ends on a heartwarming note, reminding everyone that happiness can be found within, if only they take the time to reflect on themselves.
Echoing the themes in The Reunion, many Malaysians are finding their happiness and reconnecting with themselves by choosing to celebrate CNY in their own fun and creative ways, despite the obstacles faced.
Here's how they're planning to celebrate this year:
1. "This CNY, I’ll be at home, cheekily sending everyone my bank account details so I can get monies, woohoo!"
"Since its MCO, my family and I will be staying at home to celebrate Chinese New Year. We’ll probably just do some typical CNY steamboat stuff and call it a day lol. At first, I was pretty disappointed I wouldn’t be able to get any ang pows from my relatives this year. But then, it dawned on me that I can actually get e-ang pows instead, YAY! Relatives got no excuse to avoid giving ang pow this year liao, hehe."
- Tim, 22
2. "Me and my family will just spend time together by decorating the house, eating CNY snacks while watching TV, and listening to some CNY songs"
"As for my friends, maybe we will conduct a few CNY video calls to hang out and wish each other since all of us have no plans to visit each other."
- Zhi Ren, 30
3. "We're gonna surprise our grandmother by mailing her our handbaked CNY cookies"
"My grandmother was really looking forward to CNY this year, not for any special reason, she just likes our family gatherings. But my family decided quite early on that we weren't gonna do visiting this year for everyone's safety. So instead, we're just making lots of CNY cookies (like usual) and mailing it to them. We thought it's good to have some resemblance to our normal CNY celebrations... Same but different :D"
- KV, 26
4. "I'm sending mini yee sang packages to parents and siblings, then we're going to lou together over Google Meet!"
"Every Chinese New Year, my siblings and parents come over to my place for yee sang and reunion lunch. But since we all live in different districts, we won't be able to do that this year. So instead, I'm ordering special mini yee sang packages to be delivered to my brother, mum, and dad, all three of whom live in different places. My brother, on the other hand, is having lunch sent to everyone's respective homes. Then on CNY day, we'll all log on, toss yee sang together, then tuck into yummy eats. Yay technology!"
- Cassandra, 34
5. "Since it's just me and my siblings, we decided to order steamboat and 'Pen Cai' for CNY"
"Because of this MCO, this CNY will be the first one I'm not celebrating with my parents in Penang. My mom is the one who usually preps for this celebration, like buying decorations, cookies, and food. It's also quite a different experience for me."
- Jazree, 25
6. "We're going to arrange for a video call with everyone and do a virtual yee sang toss hehe"
"BF's grandmother is Chinese, so usually we go over to her house and have CNY lunch with her and toss yee sang. But with COVID, everyone's really worried, so we're doing it differently this time round."
- Nina, 24
7. "Even though we can't meet, we're keeping our tradition of wearing red-themed clothes wherever we are"
"I come from a multi-ethnic family, and occasionally we celebrate CNY with my extended family. This year, we shall celebrate through online meeting and there might be some mini reunion with everyone else as well. I think my uncle who lives near me will deliver some food to me like he did during Raya last year."
- Muhammad Mifzal, 27
8. "I just took a few days off even though I can't go home, so I can sleep 12 hours a day"
"Work has been sooo stressful this start of the year, I just wanna catch a breather and catch up on Netflix. :P Thanks to the Teleparty Chrome extension, I can watch together with my little sis back in Johor too."
- Malcolm, 28
All of these heartwarming stories have one thing in common with Jean's story from The Reunion: despite the circumstances, they have taken the time to self-reflect and find happiness within themselves.
From organising video calls among family members to sending CNY treats to our loved ones, it is the little things we do that remind us what truly matters, just like how Jean realised she needed to find happiness within herself.
We must also remember to take a breather from everything happening around us and focus on our own well-being, which is why reconnecting with ourselves is so important. Our mental state matters just as much as anyone else's. So this CNY, take a step back and have a moment of self-reflection. You can start by answering this question: what makes YOU truly happy? It's up to you to find out.
Thank you Prudential, for reminding us to choose happiness and reunite with ourselves this CNY <3