How To Swerve The Nosy CNY Question From Your Relatives Like A Boss

Here’s how to cope with the inevitable “When are you getting married?” and “Why don’t you have children yet?” question this festive season.  

Chinese New Year is a beautiful time for families and friends to come together and celebrate, but it can also be irritating when some ‘kepoh’ aunties and uncles or other relatives ask invasive questions about one’s relationship status, salary, bonus, and other such matters. 

Despite the fact that some of us look forward to re-connecting with our fourth aunt on our mother’s side and 17th cousin on our father’s side during Chinese New Year celebrations, it must be acknowledged that these events may sometimes feel like well-dressed interrogation sessions occasionally.

Instead of stressing over these imminent questions, why not come back with your own witty replies? Here are some ways to combat the most commonly-asked and annoying questions from these ‘kepoh’ relatives over the Lunar New Year. Arm yourself against the typical questions with these answers that will knock your curious aunts and uncles in their tracks without offending them: 

THE TOP 5 QUESTIONS

1. When Are You Getting Married? 

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The most frequently asked question, and unquestionably the most crucial inquiry among others, that any adult will get from their elderly family.  Answering this question can be difficult depending on whether you’re a committed single, recently single, or in a relationship with no set wedding date in mind. 

Avoid making sweeping statements like I don’t believe in marriage,” because you’ll simply get astonished stares and probable pestering about family values if you say something like that. 

Instead, make a lighthearted joke like, “Well, do you have someone in mind for me?” Alternately, you may gesture to your favourite dessert on the table and remark, “Actually Auntie, your pineapple tarts are so amazing that I think I’ll marry them!” Food for the win and always be!

Another simple and generous answer would be “Neither of us is ready at the moment. See how first. Maybe you can check with us again next year time ya?” or “When our pockets are ready then we probably will.” 

But yet, in my opinion, the best answer that you could give is “Actually we just broke up, he couldn’t handle my success in life and it was pathetic.”  Go, you little rockstar.

2. Did You Put on Weight already? 

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It’s bad enough that you haven’t removed any of your post-baby belly fat or that you are still feeling the after-effects of your holiday binge-eating. Now you have to deal with the consequences of your holiday bingeing. 

Having it brought to your attention by an unkind word from a distant relative might set off a chain reaction of misery and despair. You’re well aware that you’ve gained a few pounds, and sadly, it appears that your new clothes have failed to disguise the fact. 

With this one, you’ll just have to take the high ground and laugh it off your chest. Say something along the lines of, “I’m setting up a new tradition in which the wider my waistline is at Chinese New Year, the greater prosperous my family will be!” 

Other possible answers (recommended): 

  1. “I’ve been living the good life, cant y’alls see that” *flips hair* 
  1. “Thank you aunty/uncle, it’s the festive season ma, which means lots of good food. Correct or not? So I eat more!” stuff all the food in your mouth and do an evil laugh. 

3. Why Don’t You Have A Job? 

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Because of the declining economy, many people are expected to be laid off, which can be particularly heartbreaking during the Chinese New Year holiday. Nevertheless, you may be in between employment at the time and still deciding on your next career step. 

It is widely believed that being out of work around the Lunar New Year is a negative omen for the year’s prospects and luck, your family may be quick to remind you of this. 

If they start to crumple up, remind them of the one thing that is more important to Chinese people than a job which is their families. 

Proceed to your parents and give them a great hug while telling them, “This is my job. I’m taking care of my parents to reward them for all of the hard work they’ve done in raising me for this many years!” 

Trust me, your status will quickly change from being the unemployed one to being the one who is extraordinarily attentive among the family as a result of all of the admiring “awws” that are certain to follow. You’ll gain their respect, including mine.

4. How Much Money Are You Making?

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No matter what time of year it is, you will almost certainly be asked this question, but it will be more common during Chinese New Year. If you make it through the CNY gathering without being asked this question, you might consider it as a jackpot liao.

Your peers’ children (their own boys and daughters, as well as friends’ children) are ready to compare you to them, and they might question your wages, which is far too personal to reveal publicly.

Make use of this as a conversation topic for a subject that you are very interested in. “I make enough money to be able to live and pursue my favourite activity ma, do you happen to know anything about it?”

 Remember that success also appears in different kinds of shapes and forms and that earning a large salary is not the only route to have a happy life. 

5. When Are You Going To Have A Kid?

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So, you’ve finally tied the knot! You had a beautiful wedding with all of your family and friends in attendance, which was wonderful. You and your companion also enjoyed a beautiful honeymoon. The quality of life is excellent. Then, when you return home for a CNY reunion, your relatives begin to pester you with the question of when you intend to reproduce in order to continue the family lineage in the next generation. 

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Is not having children a crime meh? So, for this question, I will give you two types of answers which is polite and witty. Here’s an example of how you might respond:

Polite: 

  1. “My husband/wife and I talked about it before liao. We want to have financial stability before we start a family.”
  2. “We enjoy having more time to spend with our parents” 

Witty: 

  1. “When I’m as rich as you lo! hehe” *fake a smile*
  2. “Myself also tak cukup makan liao. How to let my kids makan leh?” 

Tips & Hacks 

Google

You: Gong Xi Fa Cai, aunty!

Late 40s Relative: What aunty? Call me jie jie!”

Then there are certain aunties in their early to late forties who insist on being addressed as jie jie (sister in Mandarin) prior to presenting you with an Ang Pau. However, if it means getting a greater one by addressing them in the manner in which they desire, you should not complain. 

Lastly, the Chinese New Year is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends and to reestablish relationships with distant relatives. By applying these ideas, this year may be the year that your family and relatives have a better understanding of your passions, your career, and your definition of success!

By all means, have fun with it. Say these witty lines with confidence, and hopefully, you and your relatives will get a laugh out of it!

Hazique Zairill
Hazique Zairill
Writing is the painting of the voice

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