5 Things 1980s Kids Do During Chinese New Year in Malaysia

5 Things 1980s Kids Do During Chinese New Year in Malaysia

This year is probably the most underrated Chinese New Year in Malaysia. Pre CNY was pretty quiet and there were not many huge activities or events in shopping malls. We spent our Chinese New Year at home, visiting relatives and friends. This is the time we get to spend more times with our two boys. It wasn’t an easy task for us to take care of them as they are very active. They run around from time to time and they fight too. This reminds us on our childhood days.

The Chinese New Year celebration is nothing close than it used to be in 1980s. We live in the digital age, everyone has a smartphone now and even our children is hooked on online games or Youtube. You see kids nowadays don’t really interact but stick their heads on their smartphones or Youtube. Everyone is obsessed with Internet including the adults. However, Chinese New Year was never like this and it was more fun and happening.

Let’s go back to the 1980s and see 5 things kids do during Chinese New Year.

  1. Watch Hong Kong Movies on TV

Back in the old days there are only three channels, RTM 1, RTM 2 and TV3 (1984). During Chinese New Year, the channels will compete to air as many Hong Kong movies (Chinese movies) as possible. Everyone is looking to sell their air time and big advertisers like cigarette brands will sponsor as many movies as possible.

That is the day that kids can watch Chinese movies like no tomorrow. Usually the parents will let you go since it is Chinese New Year. We still remember we watched TV for the whole night until midnight. TV will be switched on for almost the entire day during Chinese New Year. There were cases that the TV overheated during Chinese New Year.

  1. Big Meals

You don’t get to eat fried chicken until big festive season except you were rich. Chinese New Year is the day your parents will make a big feast with fried chicken, prawns, duck and such.

Yee Sang wasn’t that popular back then so you don’t really lou sang like nowadays.

  1. Meet the relatives

It is more the less the same like now. You get pinched on your face and get judge how fat or thin you are or why are you so tall or so short. If you lucky, they will compliment you and everyone else. We prefer the compliment.

Then, they will start talking about your school grades and how good are you in the class? Some will compare how many extra lessons you have after school.

  1. Playing games with other kids

Luckily in 1980s, there are not smartphones. Thus, kids interact to each other like in real person. Well, we go play games like hopscotch, Batu Seremban and many others (I can’t recall the exact names). Games back then is more physical but it was more fun.

  1. Fireworks

Those were the days that the nights were filled with fireworks before it got banned. It was like a war zone. You don’t get to experience that crazy fireworks ‘competition’ between neighbours like it used to be. Some of the fireworks were so loud, it will set off car and house alarms. It was noisy but Chinese New Year was one hell of fireworks battle.

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