See, there is something about my culture and my family traditions that you need to know to fully appreciate my story. The thing is, my family really emphasizes on spending time together. For me, this was in the form of gathering around the table to have a home-cooked dinner. And I have been doing this for the better part of my life. It was the time that we could all wind down and share about our day – the things that happened at school or work, the silly things that our friends said or did that made us laugh, some times exchanging witty banter, others just sitting together in comfortable silence. It was always about having the full force of the family together, physically.

With that, let me now tell you about the ‘Reunion Dinner’ during Chinese New Year. On the night before the first day of Chinese New Year, it is a tradition to gather with your extended family to have steamboat, whereby everyone cooks their food in a big pot of boiling soup and eats together.

This was my first (and hopefully my last) time that I did not get to spend Chinese New Year with my family. I was a week into my exchange in Gothenburg and I was already suffering from a serious bout of homesickness. Comparing having to spend a cold winter thousands of miles away from my family with being in the company of loved ones stuffing ourselves with piping hot steamboat food… obviously without a sliver of doubt the latter wins, hands down.

But I was very blessed to have met some Hong Kong friends who very graciously invited us to have dinner together on the eve of Chinese New Year. Of course, I would never pass up a chance to be able to savour Chinese food again once more. Armed with our recycling bags and wallets, we headed to the Asian market and supermarket to buy all the ingredients that we needed.

The kitchen was in a frenzy: the sound of the knives hitting the chopping board, the boiling of water in the pot, the sizzle of the oil in a frying pan, the excited chatter. If you were not

See, there is something about my culture and my family traditions that you need to know to fully appreciate my story. The thing is, my family really emphasizes on spending time together. For me, this was in the form of gathering around the table to have a home-cooked dinner. And I have been doing this for the better part of my life. It was the time that we could all wind down and share about our day – the things that happened at school or work, the silly things that our friends said or did that made us laugh, some times exchanging witty banter, others just sitting together in comfortable silence. It was always about having the full force of the family together, physically.

With that, let me now tell you about the ‘Reunion Dinner’ during Chinese New Year. On the night before the first day of Chinese New Year, it is a tradition to gather with your extended family to have steamboat, whereby everyone cooks their food in a big pot of boiling soup and eats together.

This was my first (and hopefully my last) time that I did not get to spend Chinese New Year with my family. I was a week into my exchange in Gothenburg and I was already suffering from a serious bout of homesickness. Comparing having to spend a cold winter thousands of miles away from my family with being in the company of loved ones stuffing ourselves with piping hot steamboat food… obviously without a sliver of doubt the latter wins, hands down.

But I was very blessed to have met some Hong Kong friends who very graciously invited us to have dinner together on the eve of Chinese New Year. Of course, I would never pass up a chance to be able to savour Chinese food again once more. Armed with our recycling bags and wallets, we headed to the Asian market and supermarket to buy all the ingredients that we needed.

The kitchen was in a frenzy: the sound of the knives hitting the chopping board, the boiling of water in the pot, the sizzle of the oil in a frying pan, the excited chatter. If you were not helping out with the cooking, you were taking pictures of others helping out – and that was my job!

Even though we did not have steamboat, I finally got to eat “home-cooked” Chinese food which made me and my belly very happy. As I was missing my home back in Singapore, I found my home away from home, right here in Gothenburg.

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Written by Kimberley Wee

y home away from home, right here in Gothenburg.

d21aa37311baeae903b1c4907bd87b3dIMG_2283IMG_2289IMG_2291

Written by Kimberley Wee