Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year in Kaliningrad

Auspicious army of tigers toys from China guarded my French friend's Axele's apartment in Kaliningrad on Prospekt Mira. The paper-cutting art on the window pane promises a year of happiness and health.

If you do not know, Russians are also keenly aware of Chinese astrology, hence explain the presence of such merchandise. A common sight at the beginning of the year, by now it seems they have almost all been snapped up. Leave one for me!!!

My apartment is all set to celebrate Chinese New Year.

They flew all the way from Singapore, now accompanied by the Russian doll.

The true meaning of sisterly love. My sister baked pineapple tarts for me the night before I left.

New Year in Russian style, simple and warm.

Today is the first day of Chinese New Year, it is also the Lunar calender that is followed by Mongolians, Koreans, Buryats in Russia and the likes. Not auspicious to spend the day alone, I invited my Mongolian classmate and my teacher to visit me today. And I am so grateful they came and spent the day with me, when buses are rare during the weekends.
Axele has left Russia to celebrate Chinese New Year in a proper way - exactly in China. She is in the capital with her mother who is on a working trip.

I brought with me Kueh Bangkit, pineapples tarts, shrimp rolls, peanuts and durian cake from Singapore. A week before New Year, half of each has already been consumed, and I already need to ration my share of pineapples tarts till the end of Chinese New Year which is fifteen days later. My sister Michele baked it the day before I left for Russia last night. It was in the evening when she passed it to me, before we left for Chinatown in Singapore, when my sole intention to go there was to buy a tin of pineapple tarts. She must have heard my inner voices somehow. It is the tastiest pineapple tarts I have ever tasted in my life. Thank you.

As for hot dish, I cooked Herbal chicken with mushrooms and scallop and black pepper chicken
As it is a tradition for Mongolians, we also had meat dumplings after the meal. They brought with them dumplings, wine and cakes.

While partying and sharing everything in Russian, where I still struggle to speak correctly, my brother Stanley called. And in the background, his two little ones spoke with such festive mood, and it was great hearning them. I in turn wished him Happy New Year and Yen Ping, my sister in law, and of course the two little ones.

I called home and the folks were having a nap in Malaysia, and I received numerous smses from Singapore. Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Wish you a happy and prosperous tiger year!

    i didn't know there is an ethnic group in Russia follows lunar calendar.

  2. Thank you!!

    No, not specific ethnic group, ALL Russians are fully aware its the year of tiger..Things are sold in supermarkets. And here in Kaliningrad, population are predominantly Russians. I also don't know why..let me ask..

    My friend said: Everybody knows this, we are brothers of China!

    Many years back when I studied in UK, I spent the first Chinese New Year abroad. Already a few days before CNY, English friends greeted me Happy Chinese New Year! I saw many Chinese packed cooked food sold in Mark and Spencers soley for the festive season market. I felt very warm.

    This is the second time I spent CNY abroad, all the rest are ONLY in Malaysia, not even once in Singapore. I consider where I spend my CNY as my real spirittual home...haha..