Celebrating CNY and keeping cultural roots alive in the UK


PETALING JAYA: Being of mixed parentage, Wan Adlinn Diyana Wan Ahmad Kamal has the privilege of not only celebrating Hari Raya but also Chinese New Year and Christmas.

While the 35-year-old now lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and their two children, she is continuing the tradition of celebrating the Lunar New Year with her family abroad.

Born in Ipoh but raised in Selangor, Wan Adlinn wants to pass down her Chinese cultural heritage and traditions to her children, aged four and one.

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Wan Adlinn said she wants them to grow up embracing their Chinese side, just as she did.

“My mum is a Chinese revert who then got married to my Muslim dad.

“Her family members are either Christians or Buddhists; she was the only one who reverted.

“Aside from Chinese New Year, we also gather for Christmas,” said Wan Adlinn when contacted.

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Back in Malaysia, she said Chinese New Year meant travelling to her mother’s hometown in Kuantan, where they would have a reunion dinner with her “por por” (grandma) and other relatives.

“The part I miss most (about Chinese New Year) is definitely being with family,” said Wan Adlinn, who resigned from her job as a financial analyst in April last year.

“I’ve decided to support my husband who is working here and look after my family while we’re in the UK,” said Wan Adlinn, who is also a content creator.

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As for her plans to celebrate Chinese New Year abroad, she said they will be joining local programmes and dressing up in traditional attire.

“Here in Birmingham, we have a few places that will be hosting Lunar New Year programmes.

“They will be having lion dance and some activities for the kids like Chinese calligraphy.

“I even bought traditional cheongsam and samfu for my kids to wear, so they will at least get connected to their roots.

“We’ll also be calling our families to wish them and celebrate together from afar,” she said.

Being abroad has not stopped Wan Adlinn from ensuring her children remain connected to their Chinese roots.

“Other than trying to teach them some basic Mandarin and trying Chinese food, I also plan to let them learn about the traditions from books and videos.

“And whenever we return to Malaysia, I make it a point to go back to my ‘Chinese’ hometown to visit my relatives, too.

“To me, it’s imperative that my children grow up to learn about this part of their identity and culture, even if they can’t really physically experience it like I did when I was growing up.

“I want them to know that they’re just as ‘Chinese’ as my sisters and I, even if we’re living far away from home,” the mother of two added.

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