Poor fat kids.
In my extended Chinese family, the annual exodus back to the village for Chinese New Year is pure hell for fat kids.
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…
- You are related to me
- You put on weight since last year
- 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!
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!