Chinese New Year is a very important celebration for Chinese all around the world. During Chinese New Year’s eve, we had reunion dinner which means families get together for a dinner together. For some families, they work far from home and they take this opportunity to come back home to sit down for a reunion dinner with their families. However, how does it feel when you are not at home for Chinese New Year celebration? Well I had the opportunity to celebrate Chinese New Year in Argentina 9 years ago with my friends. I was traveling in Argentina for one month and I was in Ushuaia during Chinese New Year. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and the nearest city and port to Antarctica. This time of the year is the best time to visit Antarctica as it is summer down under.
Spending one week in Ushuaia in South America offers me a life changing view in travel. In this part of the world, it is usually cold throughout the year. Is there any Chinese New Year celebration here in Ushuaia? The answer is no but we found a Chinese restaurant here.
There is a Chinese saying, when there is water, there is Chinese. Traveling from Buenos Aires down to Ushuaia, we visited more than a dozen towns and to our surprise there is at least one Chinese restaurant in major towns here in Argentina. In fact, there were many Chinese running ‘mercado’ (supermarkets) in Buenos Aires.
Back in Ushuaia, I spent the Chinese New Year dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Arco Iris Cerrado. It is a Chinese buffet style restaurant but most of their dishes are Patagonian dishes. They have renamed themselves as ‘Bamboo’ as we check online but they still received good reviews from their customers on Google.
They offer some Chinese food but their grilled lamb and sausages are really good. Chinese restaurants in Argentina in general are priced slightly cheaper than the local restaurants. They don’t rest during ‘siesta’ too. Siesta is a short nap taken in late afternoon and it is common in South America and some countries in Europe. Most shops and restaurants are closed during ‘siesta’ except Chinese runs Mercado and restaurants.
Argentines in general are very friendly people. It is dangerous in Buenos Aires but not other parts of Argentina. I met many friendly Argentines during my travel there. Yeah, the ladies are very pretty there. =)
Instead of having ‘Yee Sang’ and reunion dinner with my family, I was having a Chinese-Argentinian buffet with my friends.
I didn’t miss home that much as I was discovering new experiences and seeing new things everyday in Argentina. That motivates me to travel more rather than spending on items. Traveling opens your mind, makes you see and learn new things and refreshes your body. Of course, you have to work hard to save for travel.
Back then, everyone works and stays in Malaysia so reunion dinner wasn’t that much difference. Now, my brothers are staying and working abroad so it means a lot for reunion dinner and Chinese New Year. It is not that easy to have the entire family sitting down for a dinner as everyone is staying abroad.
Be blessed to have your family together for reunion dinner for Chinese New Year. I didn’t realise how important Chinese New Year is 9 years ago but I do now. Cherish the moments in this festive season with your family and friends. Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!
If you can’t go back for Chinese New Year, just make a call or a message back home. =)