What’s in your CNY checklist?

By Minister Tan Chuan-Jin

It is two days to the Lunar New Year. Many of us diligently go through the checklist of what needs to be done:

Spring clean and decorate the house, buy festive goodies and clothes for the kids, make preparations for reunion dinner, pack ang pows … and the list goes on.

For most Chinese families, Lunar New Year is one big family affair. There is plenty of feasting, catching up with relatives, friends and exchanging of festive greetings.

How one generation loves, the next generation learns

As we spend time with family and loved ones this season, let us make time to show appreciation to our parents and elders. For all they have done for us, they certainly deserve our respect, care and concern. How we care for our elders will be how our children learn to care for us when we grow old.

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If you are not living with your elderly parents, visit them or bring them home to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Spend some quality time with your family – put that in your CNY checklist!

For some of us, the celebrations go beyond our immediate families. It includes going door to door to bring festive joy to fellow Singaporeans, especially to those who live alone or who may be financially strapped and cannot afford to celebrate Lunar New Year; or others, who have been abandoned by their loved ones.

There are also groups of residents who come together to care for others in their community. We saw this happen at Yuhua Market and Food Centre last week, where some hawkers and volunteers cooked and served dishes to more than 300 needy elderly and families at a charity dinner held in their community, for their community.

Such is the inclusive and caring society that we can build and be a part of when we begin to look beyond ourselves and start to look out for others.

Wishing you and your family good health and happiness for the Lunar New Year!