By Elizabeth Anne Sin
Childhood memories are something I cherish very fondly. Nostalgia will always be a part of me as my childhood days were the best days of my life.
I distinctly remember visiting my grandaunt’s house in Ipoh every Chinese New Year. The buzzing scene at her house during CNY is embedded in my mind.
The rusty black gate swinging open with a creak, allowing those inside to loudly guess who has just arrived. The humongous tree growing right where the car should be parked in the porch and my granduncle’s car parked outside by the road, untouched for years.
Walking into my grandaunt’s house, I smell the overwhelming scent of salted egg chicken and fried chicken. But before we can even think of eating, my family and I are usually engulfed by loud, excited greetings, “HALOOOOOHHH” or “GONG XI FA CAI! WAH DAI GOH LUI JOH LOHHH! (What a big girl you have become!)” We usually don’t make it to the kitchen to poke around and steal some food because our relatives in Ipoh will sit us down and ask us how our year has been.
That half an hour or so of smiles and excited exchanges of “How have you been?”, followed by the glorious feast of home cooked food. The loud chatter and laughter of my grandpa, grandma, grandaunt, grand-EVERYONE…
…and amidst it all, is me, smiling and nodding as though I understand what they’re saying in Cantonese. (It’s usually during these times that I contemplate my choices in life… Why am I still a banana at 19 years old?!) I eat whatever the people on my right and left and in front of me put on my plate while saying “SEK LA SEK LA (Eat la eat la)”, even though I don’t really enjoy eating mushrooms or herbal vegetables; goodness knows what kind of meat that is. Through it all, I enjoy seeing my family so cheerful, so happy to be with family.
Truly, what makes me feel nostalgia is this very moment engraved in my memory.
When I’m old, wrinkled and all these people around me are likely to be in heaven, I will look back on these days and feel this very warmth I feel when I’m with the people I love because what brings nostalgic feelings are memories from the past that I can never recreate.
Make memories, and make lots of them. Cherish these moments, and allow yourself to reminisce your youth and your younger days. One day, you’ll look back and feel that you miss these moments, and that’s good. Because those moments were and always will be absolutely perfect moments, forever cherished and ingrained in our minds.