Protect The Fat Kids From Getting Punished During Chinese New Year

Poor fat kids.

cny In my extended Chinese family, the annual exodus back to the village for Chinese New Year is pure hell for fat kids.

Pure. Hell.

My relatives have no mercy on fat kids.

Maybe it’s just my relatives. Or maybe all Malaysian families, not just Chinese ones like mine.

I don’t know. You tell me.

Imagine for a moment…

  1. You are related to me
  2. You put on weight since last year
  3. You came to my village

Are you imagining that?

Scary eh. It is just the beginning.

  • Everyone will take turns to point at you with comments and questions. Like “Wow, you are so fat now! What happened?” or “Putting on weight? Very prosperous! Hehe!”
  • They will even pit you against other fat relatives… “Look at kor-kor (means brother in Chinese dialect), if you don’t watch out your belly will be as big as his!”
  • They will do this, a couple of times, even if you smile politely in return, or ignore them.
  • They might even throw you some rude accusations cum weight-loss advice… “Exercise! You never exercise!”
  • And yes, they do all of the above, even if they are fatter than you.

In some other context, or culture, this is called bullying. But for my relatives, this is Chinese New Year.

Sigh. I can’t help but feel bad for the fat kids in my family.

But to be very honest with you, sometimes, I’m tempted to join in the fun.

Hey bro, it’s not the year of the pig!

2005Pig

Haha. Ok, that was mean. But you have to understand, I was keeping that in all day.

For the record I am not a fat kid.

I’m fortunate to have an athletic figure. I probably don’t know what it feels like to be fat (and I intend to keep things this way).

However, my older brother, who has long ago decided being fat was no big deal (pun), has to endure this.

Good thing he developed a few defense mechanisms against my extended family. The most powerful being “Wall of ignorance”. It’s almost as though he puts on an invisible cloak, as he goes for the next plate of rice.

Why does it have to be like this?

It’s not like fat kids go up to the elderly and go “Wow! You’re so old!”

I’m guessing, either…

  • My relatives are mean! They get kicks out of laughing at fat kids.
  • Or, my family members mean well, and believe taunting will drive a fat kid to shed the pounds.

Anyway, I just wanted to highlight this issue to other Chinese families out there to see if it makes a difference. I’m not doing this to make my relatives look bad. I like them, they are generally nice people, who contribute to society meaningfully.

It’s great to have family to celebrate with, even though some members come in different sizes 🙂

Here’s to a healthy, happy new year everyone!

7 comments on “Protect The Fat Kids From Getting Punished During Chinese New Year

  1. Khai February 7, 2008 6:08 pm

    Hey Bro,

    I can totally relate to these fat stories.

    Some of my friends are full time Internet marketers who work from home. In spite of their apparently ‘thin’ frames, they developed fat tummies and huge backsides.

    This is the result of Internet marketing syndrome due to long hours of sitting in front of the computer and a lack of exercise. I bet they get a lot of fat comments from their relatives as well.

    I must admit that even though I’m the product of my gluttony, I’ve learnt to be at ease with what I am. And that is why taunting doesn’t affect me anymore (albeit, I am taking measures to shed a few pounds).

    After all, Chinese families tend to treat ‘being fat’ as a sin… but that doesn’t mean that you should feel so bad about yourself to the point where you starve yourself to death.

    Regardless of your opinion on excess weight, I must agree with Khai Lee… please have mercy on fat people.

    Unlike me, many others are not immune to insensitive fat tauntings.

    Memorable quote:

    ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’

    – Some old song

  2. XiangMei February 9, 2008 12:54 pm

    This is BULLY!
    Seriously,i really pity that fat boy,i’m sure he have no confidence after been
    bully by his own relatives!I truly understand how that fat boy feel cause i
    once ‘kena’ before…There’s no way for a ‘Big Mouth’ from stop talking non-stop right??

    The only way is to ignore them and be patient all the times,if i cannot ‘tahan’ them……Hehehex….i will show them what i got! by scolding them back as they did not respect me…

  3. sulz February 10, 2008 11:42 am

    you raised some good points. being fat myself, i don’t exactly appreciate being told something i know in a tone that suggests that i don’t. that said, i understand their intentions are well-meant, or said in jest, even if it’s a little misguided.

    i try to take all pot shots as graciously as i can. operative word being ‘try’…

  4. laydeh February 10, 2008 4:32 pm

    geez. i think it’s a chinese family thing. looks like urs aint the only one that does this. mine + many of my extended extended ones too.

    it’s funny isn’t it? when they regard big sizes to posperity + wealth, then they should not give these horizontally challenged kids such a hard time…

  5. Vikram Balaji February 13, 2008 1:58 am

    Well bulying fat kids is not just a Chinese thing it is an universal thing.

    well look at the media etc- when you take even models they would choose someone fat and not thing. Most film stars are thin perhaps 1/100 who are fat go on to being a celebrity.

    So I can understand. But the one place where they like fat people is Africa, tthey like beung fat.

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