Youths embrace tech and tradition in quest for love


Photos By AMANDA LEE

Participants fishing for mandarin oranges tossed by women into the lake.

RAIN did not dampen the hopes and spirits of youths as they gathered by a lake to toss or fish out mandarin oranges on the night of Chap Goh Meh, also known as Chinese Valentines’ Day.

First-timer and university graduate Vivian Lai Jing Wen, 21, was eager to toss the fruit during Bandar Mahkota Cheras Residents Association’s mandarin orange tossing event at a recreational park in Selangor.

“I knew about the event through a banner that I saw near my area, and since I live nearby, I decided to take part,” she said.

Visitors queuing for mandarin oranges despite the rain during the event in Cheras, Selangor.Visitors queuing for mandarin oranges despite the rain during the event in Cheras, Selangor.

Accompanied by her mother, who cheered her on from the side, Lai felt hopeful despite being new to the tradition.

“I am not sure if finding love this way is efficient, but I am willing to give it a try as fate may really be on my side tonight,” she said with a hopeful smile.

Another first-timer, Sylvia Chong Zi Xian, 22, was also looking forward to finding a suitable partner.

“It would be great if I could meet my mate through this event,” she said.

Chong was among the many youths who wrote social media details instead of their phone numbers, which is the traditional method.

Lee (left) and Tan say the tradition should be continued, especially for young people to keep in touch with their roots.Lee (left) and Tan say the tradition should be continued, especially for young people to keep in touch with their roots.

“It is the preferred way to socialise among young people from our generation.

“I believe that it is easier and less intimidating to interact and connect through social media, compared to calling or texting.

“Phone numbers can be exchanged later when the two people feel like they are willing to get to know each other more and take their relationship to the next step,” she told StarMetro.

For Chee How Lion and Dragon Dance Association performer Tong Jia Hoong, 21, it was his second time participating in the event.

After his lion dance opening performance, Tong joined the long queue to get a mandarin orange for himself.

“Every year, we come here to perform, so I thought it would be a waste if I did not participate.

“It is a good way to end the Chinese New Year celebrations,” he added.

Angelina Lee Yung Tung, 21, said the mandarin orange tossing was a great way to let the new generation know about traditions in Chinese culture.

“There is history behind this tradition, so it is a great learning experience,” said Lee.

Her friend, Tan Chi Sing, 22, added that events like this help young people keep in touch with their roots.

University student Kum Yew Chuan, 23, said it was also a way for young people to socialise.

“We can interact face-to-face rather than through electronic devices.

“Hence, this tradition is even more important now,” he noted.

Joining the locals in the festivities was tourist Bruce Ji Yu Dong, 21, from Inner Mongolia, China, who came to Malaysia during his semester break.

“This is my first time tossing an orange as there is no event like this back in China.

“The festivities are so lively, and I am really enjoying it,” he said.

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