2 Chinese Muslim converts in S’pore share how they celebrate Chinese New Year

2 Chinese Muslim converts in S’pore share how they celebrate Chinese New Year

Mothership.SG·2018-02-17 01:30

Chinese New Year is the time of the year when families go for reunion dinners, give their elders oranges, and the best part of it all, collect ang baos.

But how do Chinese Muslim converts in Singapore do it?

Candid discussion

A video uploaded by , a local Muslimwear online shop, shares the experience of two Chinese Muslim converts, Jihan and Jayina.

The video talks about their reaction to online comments such as why they converted to Islam, having to let go of beautiful but not so Muslim-friendly clothes, and of course, how they approach Chinese New Year.

Here are some of the things they discussed:

Unable to eat typical CNY food

According to Jihan, Chinese New Year is when her family will order the typical and delicious Chinese food, such as roast pork, duck and chicken.

Sadly, because of her halal diet, she can’t eat any of those.

“All the poultry you can imagine on the table and I can’t eat any of them because all I have is the thing that I ordered that is halal.”

Being popular with the kids

However, things aren’t always negative.

Having a strictly halal diet means that her Chinese relatives will always have to get pizza during house visits to accommodate to Jihan’s and her husband’s dietary needs.

Pizza being a fan favourite among the youngsters just makes the Muslim couple the most likable people in the room.

“All the kids were like, “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” And it’s all thanks to? The Muslim couple la.”

Chinese food =/= non-halal

But the important question is: Does being a Muslim mean you can’t eat Chinese food for life?

Fortunately, that’s not the case for both Jihan and Jayina.

According to Jayina, her first Chinese New Year as a Muslim was a tear jerker as her family went the extra mile to ensure everything was halal and called her every time they had doubts about the halal status of minor ingredients such as oysters.

“It (Chinese food) doesn’t necessarily have to contain pork or alcohol. You can easily omit these. I grew up eating Chinese food during Chinese New Year, so I don’t want that to stop and neither does my family.”

As for Jihan, her helper was so eager to prepare halal dishes for Jihan, that she even buys halal chicken as food for their pet dog.

“You see our dog is like Muslim already like you and she always eats halal.”

Cross-cultural celebration

Celebrating ethnic festivities in a cross-cultural family sounds hard, but both ladies got through the adversities.

Jihan shares how her family and in-laws try to outdo each other by getting each other increasingly generous gifts during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.

“My in-laws will buy five cartons of Mandarin oranges and then deliver to my house. So my father want to up them, right? So my father during Hari Raya, 15kg of durian from Malaysia.”

Jayina, who went through a rough patch with her family when she first told them of her decision to practice Islam, is glad that both families no longer talk about cultural differences.

“Now it’s just “So how is he? How is she? How’s the family doing?” you know.”

Islam-hating troll comments

This final comment on the video came from a troll:

“So lovely seeing people still converting to a medieval religion where apostasy is punishable by death, women get punished for being raped and thousands are committing atrocities against humanity for being “infidels”. Love it girl, keep sharing <3″

And this is basically how they replied:

Top image screenshot via Ayu Apparels’ video


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Chinese New Year Singapore