Answering those awkward Chinese New Year Questions

It happens during the Chinese New Year season every year. When we visit the houses of relatives and friends when exchanging mandarins and receiving or giving ang pows, they are bound to ask awkward questions that you may feel are too personal or awkward to answer.

So sometimes you may even prefer not to meet them.

Awkward questions can crop up during CNY visiting. [Photo by]

Awkward questions can crop up during CNY visiting.
[Photo by]

Here are a few of the more common questions that you may face – accompanied by some quick answers that you can shoot back with.

Do note though, when you are giving your answers, try your best to say them with a straight face and let your relatives or friends laugh about them later. It certainly helps if they have a sense of humour!

1) Why don’t you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

For those who are unattached, this can be a rather awkward question to answer, especially if you have siblings who are all happily attached or worse still, engaged or married.

Some common responses that you can give, may include:

[Let’s call the boyfriend or girlfriend, X].

  • Actually, I do. It’s just that X is a Calvin Klein model/Victoria’s Secret Angel. He/She is currently on a photoshoot overseas with them at the moment. But X would have loved to have met you today, though.
  • Oh, do you know anyone who is suitable?
  • X is at work.

2) When are you getting married?

Couples who have been attached for several years may face this awkward question. Here are some quick replies that you could use to fire back at them.

  • Our flat/apartment will not be ready for another few years.
  • We are still saving up for the big day.
  • Oh, we’re actually waiting to collect enough ang pows to cover the cost.

3) When are you having a baby?

Regardless of whether you are newlywed, or have been married for several years, this can be a little tricky to respond to.

This question had its roots in earlier days, when it was believed that women should get married and have kids as soon as possible – something that your elderly relatives may still believe in.

Here is what you can say, in response to this question.

  • I don’t need to have a baby – I’ve already married one.

4) Where do you work?

If your job nature or work scope is very niche, your relatives may have trouble understanding what you really do. So instead of driving yourself crazy explaining everything to them, you give them some of these responses!

"So where do you work?" [Photo by]

“So where do you work?”
[Photo by]

But they may think your answers are crazy, though!

  • I am actually a professor with the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I just got my letter and will be meeting Head Professor McGonagall tomorrow to sign the acceptance form.
  • I am a Jedi Knight, working closely with Luke Skywalker to set up a new Jedi school and help train the next generation of Jedis.
  • I am working with the First Order and Supreme Leader Snoke to outwit the Rebels and rule the Galaxy. One day you will hear my name and quake in fear.

5) Why are you so skinny?

This can be quite awkward for many people nowadays, especially those who eat a lot but can’t seem to put on weight.

  • I am eating! It’s just that I don’t know where the food goes to!
  • I do a lot of exercise, you see!
  • Because I don’t want to be fat.

6) Why are you so chubby?

Like the above question, this can also prove to be quite difficult to answer, especially if you have been trying to lose weight but unsuccessfully.

Here are some quick ways to get around this question.

  • It’s actually called muscles, you know!
  • Because I don’t want to be thin and weak, you see.

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