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Happy holidays.
WHAT WAS THAT? YOU SPEAK TOO SOFT

What it’s like to spend Lunar New Year with a Chinese family, in one incredibly judgmental song

Amy X. Wang
By Amy X. Wang

Reporter

Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, chunjie—call it what you want. The year of the rooster begins Jan. 28, hallmarked by the world’s largest human migration and a flurry of splendid traditions.

For Chinese people, the most authentic one, of course, is spending the holiday being pelted with snide remarks and/or mildly offensive questions by the extended members of one’s own family.

For those unfamiliar with such matters, Shanghai’s Rainbow Chamber Singers choir group has put together a song aptly explaining the experience. The performance—titled “Spring Festival Survival Guide” and subtitled in English in the video below—has already garnered more than 560,000 plays on Chinese streaming site Bilibili, and about half of that on YouTube.

Choice lyrics from the song include:

Any dates lately? Anyone you like at all? Why don’t you go on this date I set up for you tomorrow? And it’s about time you lose a few pounds too. Just—skip this meal.

And:

Little Johnny is in Japan. Just finished his grad school. He got married acciden… I mean, recently. It was a shotgun wedding, you know? And now he passed the exam to enter the Civil Service. [snickering]

And:

Hi, I’m Mr. Wang, your rich next-door neighbor. Here to wish you a happy new year with my son. We just got our first round of VC funding. (Chorus: He sure is going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg! Look at this kid! Look at this kid!)

And:

Even the smog didn’t suffocate me. My dear family, just let me live my own life.

It’s worth listening in full.

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