To all Malaysians (and everyone else on planet Earth)... Happy Chinese New Year!
Rats alive! It's another new year!
(original picture from here)
Yes, it's out with the Pig, and in with the Rat. In fact, the year of the Rat signifies the beginning of a new 12-year cycle in the Chinese Zodiac. Out with the old cylcle, in with the new.
And with a new cycle and year comes new hope for change... or so Walski would like to believe. It is after all going to be an election year. Exactly when is, of course, anybody's guess, but it'll definitely be within the year of the Rat.
It'll be a chance to chase out the rats that have been having a field day in the kitchens of government and parliament - Walski certainly hopes you folks who are 21 and above have registered to vote.
Walski is, of course, in Penang, as he usually is during the Chinese New Year. And since about an hour ago, from 11:45pm (the "official" moment when the new year begins), it's almost been like a war zone here on the Pearl of the Orient. Fireworks, firecrackers... all over the place.
Then again, what's Chinese New Year without the noise of firecrackers and the blazing fireworks lighting up the sky, eh?
(more Ratty new year thoughts, in the full post)
Some of you will probably disagree... but for Walski the noise is part and parcel of the celebration, and Chinese New Year would simply not be complete without the noise. Of course, some people do get carried away and continue on until the wee hours of the morning, which is probably not very neighborly.
Traditionally, firecrackers are burnt to ward off evil spirits so that they would not marr the new year. For Walski, it's more the festive feel brought about by loud firecrackers, and jubilantly pretty fireworks. It's just all the more festive.
In any case, Walski is optimistic that this will be a good year. Not because of feng shui predictions or any prognostication done by astrology masters, or stuff like that. It's just that enough is enough. The Malaysian people have put up with a lot of crap in the last four years or so, disappointed with all the promises that have fallen short of being fulfilled...
Well, Walski will let the chips fall as they may... hopefully back on the plate with the fish. Where they belong. So that he, like the other hopeful Malaysians, can look forward to better things in the future.
The Rat may not be the most pleasant of creatures, but has been traditionally thought of as a protector and the bringer of material prosperity. May prosperity, good health, and lots of happiness grace you and your loved ones throughout the rest of the year.
And with that little ray of hope, Walski once again wishes everyone a very Happy Chinese New Year.