How To Survive Chinese New Year’s Nosy Questions 

The perfect replies to your relatives’ well-meaning enquiries.
Monday 4 February 2019
Toss that yee sang for good luck, prosperity and less questions from nosy relatives. Photo: iStock

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Chinese all over the world. Ideally, everyone would want to enjoy Chinese New Year with scrumptious food, great company and multiple toasts to good fortune and health but in reality, those memorable moments sometimes come complete with unmerciful queries about one’s personal lives. And it’s those questions from relatives and even people we aren’t too familiar with who will stir up feelings of awkwardness and resentment because they can be too personal without realising it.

From wanting to know why Tinder hasn’t brought you a spouse to why they have yet to see a baby bump on you, it’s never easy trying to answer these dreaded questions politely without coming across as irritated and snappy.

Here are a few typical questions that are bound to come about and the UNRESERVED way to reply to them.

“Why are you still single?”

What you’re thinking: “I don’t actually know, but let’s talk about you. Why are you still in a relationship with someone whom you seem miserable with?”

What you should say: “My parents aren’t easy to please so it will take time to find the perfect match.”

“When are you getting married?”

What you’re thinking: “Why? Are you planning on proposing?”

What you should say: “My family deserves champagne, not wine at my wedding banquet. I need time to save enough money to give everyone the best.”

“Did you gain weight?”

What you’re thinking: “Well, says the person who looks like a permanently overdue pregnant woman.”

What you should say: “It must have been all the good food I’ve been having after my job promotion.”

“Shouldn’t you be having babies by now?”

What you’re thinking: “Shouldn’t you stop being a busy body?”

What you should say: “Some people aren’t as blessed as others.”

angpow-iStock - Chinese New Year

“Here’s a red packet for you. It should be your last one this year.” Photo: iStock

“Why are you still renting a place instead of owning a home?”

What you’re thinking: “Easy for you to say. Are you going to pay for it?”

What you should say: “I’m saving up to buy a home big enough to accommodate our parents’ guest rooms.”

“Your baby is so cute. Is it a boy or a girl?”

What you’re thinking: “I guess the dress and floral headband weren’t enough clues for you.”

What you should say: “She takes on her dad more.”

“Why are you still driving that old car?”

What you’re thinking: “My old car can still function better than you.”

What you should say: “It consumes less fuel, and we know how unpredictable fuel prices are these days.”

“Why do you look like you’ve aged?”

What you’re thinking: “At least my complexion doesn’t look like it belongs to a 20-year-old piece of leather.”

What you should say: “I can only hope to look as good as you at my age.”


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