Youths make plans for CNY

THERE is always a flurry of activity whenever a festive season is being celebrated. With Chinese New Year (CNY) just a week way, Malaysian youths share how they plan to make the most of the festivities.

“Every year, I look forward to my family’s reunion dinner on the eve of CNY the most. This year, it will be especially meaningful for me as I will be spending the night of the first day of CNY on my flight to Wales, the United Kingdom, where I’ll be studying for my new academic semester. I am excited to spend quality time and celebrate the festivities with my family just before I start my journey abroad.” – Wong Hoi Kei, 20

“I most look forward to the performances and lion dances. I may not celebrate it but I enjoy the festivities and the joy in the air. I’m also always excited to go to my friend’s open houses.” – Sarvendra Tarun Sures, 15

“Back when I was younger, all I cared about were new clothes, ang pow and the school holidays that came with this festive time of the year. But now that I am older, I am able to appreciate what really matters. It is not only a time for us to celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year, but also an opportunity for everyone to set aside the hustle and bustle of daily activities and responsibilities to spend time with family. I am really looking forward to visiting my hometown in Terengganu, especially since it had flooded a while ago. I hope my grandparents and the house have been holding up well.” – Alyson Wong Yan, 16

“Having spent the last few CNYs abroad, I will be celebrating this CNY in my home in Penang. Besides making cookies with my mother and indulging in the local festive food, I cannot wait to visit my relatives and friends. Beyond the huge red lanterns hung along the streets, the festive songs and the enticing crunch of peanut cookies, it is the togetherness that comes with this festival that I most look forward to. It is how family members are excited to leave their routines – even just for a day or two – to reunite with loved ones, near and far. Togetherness is the core essence of this festival and may it remain so for many more generations to come.” – Jeslyn Ch’ng, 18

“Although I don’t celebrate CNY, I do hope my fellow Malaysians who celebrate it have a fun time with their loved ones. I plan to spend this time doing more crocheting and animation videos as most days, I don’t have much time for my hobbies as I have to focus on my schoolwork.” – Nasya Nazrul, 15

“Ever since studying in the UK, CNY has never been the same. I no longer have the opportunity to celebrate it physically alongside my family and friends in Malaysia. However, I have since learnt to cherish ushering in CNY abroad. I make the most of it by video calling my family and getting together with some of my South-East Asian friends here in the UK. My friends and I will be continuing our tradition of strolling through the streets in Chinatown in our cheongsams and having the lovely ‘yu sheng’ together! – Lee Yann Ling, 20

All students featured here are participants of the BRATs Young Journalist Programme run by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) team. To join Star-NiE’s online youth community, go to

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