Happy Chinese New Year 2021 from our family to yours! This would be only the 3rd time in our lives to miss the big family reunion in our hometowns. What better time than now to reminisce on the good ol’ days when CNY used to be crazy and exciting as we used to travel through miles and two cities just to meet our beloved families.
The first time was 2009 when Josiah was ripe and ready to be born anytime. That year, CNY was 26 January and Josiah was born on Feb 5. Having no other family members in West Malaysia, one of our kind church family invited us to their home for their hotpot reunion dinner. Then on the first day of CNY 2009, we were invited to homes of other church members. It definitely warmed our hearts having being so far away from home. I guess having lived more of our lives here than in our hometowns still could not take our hearts away from our birth place. After all, our beloved family members are all there.
Our CNY was usually split between two places though, Kuching and Sarikei, a journey that could take a whole day between both. From early on, we made a pact to take turns to spend reunion dinner in alternate cities every year. Year 2010 was return to Sarikei and from the 2nd or 3rd day of CNY we would have to journey to Kuching.
Visiting my maternal Grandma was one of the things we do together as a family every year. That time, my Grandma was 90! Today at 101, she is still strong and healthy. I hope to be able to celebrate her next birthday for sure.
Year 2011 was back to Kuching first, and it was a rather special year as John’s third sister, Gracia was getting married during CNY. So after our reunion, with 2 years old Josiah in tow, we departed to Sarikei. We took a flight this time, usually we would take a bus or a ship. All transport ways are hard and long! I can’t wait for the Pan Borneo highway to be completed.
Back in Sarikei, Josiah was the ring bearer for the wedding that was held in the home. Then, a dinner proceeds in a nearby restaurant. We had a lot of fun meeting all the different family members that came back from overseas. Wow, it’s been so many years and Gracia is now a mother of 3.
2012 was the 2nd time that we missed the CNY in Sarawak, as I was once again heavily pregnant with the ETA for March. We spent our CNY in Port Dickson that year as Josiah turned 3 and it was his last year as an only child. Somehow it was not only emotional for him but for me as well knowing that I wouldn’t be able to spend all my time with him anymore.
CNY 2013 reunion was in Sarikei and it was baby Jordan’s first time back there. What a handful he was…traveling was never the same again with two in tow.
Finally the awesome sisters unite again when we went back to Kuching. CNY in Kuching is always full of eating and shopping and eating and shopping. It was something that lined out every day back there and also increases that waist line exponentially. Spending time with my sisters is what I missed most this at this time!
CNY 2014 is quite a happening one as the aunt from Australia is back. They don’t go back for CNY annually. As usual we have our reunion in Kuching first before heading to Sarikei. Somehow we always take an all women group pic. except this time there are two boys.
The fam bam in Sarikei had also grown with every married couple producing kids. At that time I had 2 more nephews and 1 niece from John’s side of the family. CNY in Sarikei was always dinner at home and walks at parks and checking out the old schools and library.
The fantastic four sisters are back for CNY 2015! This time featuring my nephew Jaron as well. It felt like we skipped the Sarikei this year as I couldn’t find any pics of that time. The long trip back sometimes caused us to miss it as not all the siblings would travel back as well.
CNY 2016, back to feasting and…eating. One of the places we always go in Kuching is Friendship park. We would visit every year and every time when we are back.
Saying goodbye is always hard. Whenever we leave Sarikei we try to take a photo with whoever is back. It is hard to get everyone back in Sarikei every year as all the siblings have moved to other states and countries.
CNY 2017 saw one of the biggest reunion back in Sarikei and additional babies! It was getting crowded in the house but hey that was what made it fun!
Back in Kuching, the sisters have relegated to random casual pics anywhere but home. Seen here shopping for the kids and never for ourselves. buying some sandals for our boys.
2018 CNY was another really eventful year. Seen here visiting my grandma who was 98 by that time. May God bless her with long life and be the oldest living person in Malaysia. Current record is 130 years.
Yes my parents came with us to Sarikei in that year for the first time? The reason being it was the wedding of John’s only and youngest brother Richard. They are now blessed with a son as well! It was a pretty tough journey as we drove my Dad’s car all the way back which took about 6 hours. We rented an Airbnb and stayed for a couple of days.
CNY 2019 in Sarikei always start with lotsa visitors! John has very popular parents and many visitors will come and hang out. It was also Josiah’s birthday so we celebrated with the cousins too. Josiah nearly always celebrate his birthday in our hometown.
I tried to make a CNY family card annually!
We went to Sarikei by the ship and left by flight from Sibu. It was always hard to arrange transport to the airport, and 2019 was particularly hard when we couldn’t get any bus or grab driver. In the end, John’s father had to drive us and it was a bit dangerous and far for him. Nevertheless, thank God we all made it there safely and back.
Back in Kuching, we made it in time to visit my then 99 years old Grandma and squeezed a pic with her.
We continued feasting as a big family throughout the celebrations.
CNY 2020! Down to the last already. We didn’t make the trip to Sarikei again last year and my Grandma turned 100.
John’s sis Rita also live in Kuching so we visited her as well.
We also met up with the Kajang gang in Kuching! Yes everyone has relations to Kuching somehow.
That’s it for 12 years down memory lane with the help of Google photos and Facebook albums, else my memory will have failed. It’s nostalgia all the way as I missed my family no thanks to Covid. Let’s pray that this passes so that we can meet them again.