Bai nian* with their 'gas cylinder' *giving new year greetings
New parents Andie Chen and Kate Pang fret over taking their chubby infant visiting for the first time this Chinese New Year
Local actor Andie Chen and his actress-wife Kate Pang will have a livelier Chinese New Year, thanks to their seven-month-old son Aden.
But the couple, who got married in November 2013 and welcomed Aden last June, are feeling nervous about taking the chubby 10kg infant visiting for the first time.
Pang, 31, told The New Paper in a phone interview on Monday: "I am worried that it will be very tough. I think it will be very tiring as I need to carry a 'gas cylinder' around the whole day."
As Chen has been busy filming two different TV dramas in the lead-up to the festive season, the celebrity couple have not had time to get in the Chinese New Year mood.
But Pang said they've been teaching Aden how to put his hands together to "bai nian" (Mandarin for wishing someone "Happy New Year").
She said with a laugh: "Too bad Aden is not a child prodigy and can't talk yet. We've prepared the different outfits for Chinese New Year though. Some of the clothes have dragon insignia embroidered on them."
Chen, 29, added: "My relatives also bought clothes for Aden. Now, he has five different outfits that he can wear from Chinese New Year's Eve all the way to the fourth day."
Pang added: "Initially, I wanted to buy coordinating outfits (for the three of us), but I didn't have the time. We have matching dragon robes but I don't think I will wear it. It is too hot."
The family of three spent Chinese New Year's Eve having a reunion lunch with Chen's immediate family, before joining Chen's extended family for a reunion dinner.
This year, Taiwan-born Pang has no plans to take Aden to her hometown, Taipei, to visit her relatives because of time constraints.
She gave birth to him there but the couple moved back to Singapore shortly after that.
The MediaCorp actress has not been accepting any projects so that she can care for Aden, but will take on a hosting gig next month.
Pang said: "Andie has to resume filming on Sunday, and I am going to return to work in March. There is hardly any time to go back. My parents won't complain because I haven't had reunion dinner with them since I joined MediaCorp in 2011."
For the Year of the Goat, all the couple wish for their son is that he be in good health.
Pang said: "He had diarrhoea recently, so he still cannot drink milk. My heart hurts to see his butt so red."
Chen added: "Aden is very much my lucky charm... he has made my life more stable. I am usually quite rough around the edges and people find me unapproachable, but with Aden, people are a lot friendlier towards me now as they see another side of me."
There is hardly any time to go back. My parents won't complain because I haven't had reunion dinner with them since I joined MediaCorp in 2011.
- Kate Pang on not being able to take Aden to her hometown, Taipei, to visit her relatives
Of love letters and love lives
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- Rebecca Lim dreads relatives’ questions on showbiz rumours at CNY gatherings
“Sometimes I get a little bit annoyed, because when I’m not working, I don’t want to talk about work. I hope my relatives do not see me as ‘the actress Julie’, but more like ‘a niece’ or ‘a cousin’.”
- Julie Tan on politely declining to give updates on the latest gossip at MediaCorp
“I’d probably stay in Singapore for a few days, and then travel overseas, maybe to a nearby island or one of the islands in China. My grandparents are very direct, they’d go, ‘You came home alone again?’. And I’d try to pacify them with a ‘Yes, I’ll try my best.’”
- China-born Zhang Zhenhuan, who’s not going home for CNY, on family members probing about his love life
“Sometimes 50 of us (from my extended family) go karaoke, it’s very fun. I also like to go Chinatown with my family during CNY and just bask in the atmosphere. As for the questions about my love life, I do “tai chi”, saying, ‘Oh I cannot decide between Rui En and Jeanette Aw.’”
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“I’m a traditional person, so I must spend the new year with my parents, older brother and five older sisters. I look forward to my mum’s cooking. I also meet up with old classmates and friends. ”
- Shaun Chen on returning to his kampung in Seremban, Malaysia, during CNY
“When filming, we don’t have weekends or public holidays. So CNY is the only time we get time off, for at least two or three days. So time with family is precious for me, and I spend that time at home. My parents also understand that I’m filming through the year and I sometimes don’t get enough rest. So they won’t make me go and ‘bai nian’ (visiting).”
- Jeanette Aw on how CNY is all about family time
“I used to look forward to getting hongbao from my elders when I was younger. My favourite spot is still the seat beside the little table with the freshlymade love letters.”
- Felicia Chin can’t get enough of her favourite CNY snacks Of love letters and love lives Compiled by Choo Mei Fang, Vincent Pak and Andrea Seet