Awkward and intrusive personal questions are part and parcel of the annual Chinese New Year experience. Whether you’re an ang pow receiver, or you’ve already progressed to the ang pow-giving phase in life, you will still be the target of inquisitive uncles and aunties.
To make this Chinese New Year a more enjoyable one for you, we’ve prepared this list of sure-win answers that you can use to kaodim these curious uncles and aunties:
About your non-existent love life
Recommended answer: It’s my goal to find the one this year.
Helpful aunties are always eager to introduce you to eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. To avoid them from playing cupid and asking more personal questions, it’s best to just tell them that you are actively looking for a significant other this year. This might hold them off from giving you a lecture about the importance of having a partner, and they won’t be forcing you to go on a blind date with a cousin’s friend’s son or daughter.
About your unfixed wedding date
Recommended answer: We are still looking for a suitable date.
This can be really awkward, especially if you’ve just started dating your partner and marriage isn’t something you guys are talking about yet. Whether or not you’re planning to get married, a great way to stop the conversation from getting more embarrassing is to just say that you’re waiting for a more auspicious date. This will at least stop them from reminding you about your age and ability to reproduce, and focus on horoscope issues.
About your salary
Recommended answer: Just enough.
This is, in our opinion, the most annoying question. Some may even consider this rude. Salary is a private matter that many feel should not be discussed openly. To politely decline an initiation to discuss this matter, just comment that your salary is enough for you to pay bills, contribute to personal savings, and enjoy life with.
About your non-existent children
Recommended answer: We are trying.
You may have plans to have children at a later date, or they may not be part of the plan. You could also be actively trying to conceive. Whatever your circumstances are, the best way to counter this question is to tell them that you are trying. Uncles and aunties love children, there’s no way they’re going to accept “We don’t want kids (now)” as an answer. Get on their good side by saying that you’re working on it, and they’ll leave you alone, or they might even give you some tips!
About having more children
Recommended answer: We want to dedicate our lives to nurturing our child / children.
Regarding children, the older generation holds the belief that the more the merrier. Complaining about the difficulty of raising your child will only get you a serious lecture from them about how they raised nine kids with limited funds. Win these uncles’ and aunties’ hearts by showing them how dedicated you are as a parent, that you want to spend all your time nurturing your current lot instead of increasing the household size.
About your children’s results
Recommended answer: There’s room for improvement, but we’re happy with what they’ve achieved.
Not just uncles and aunties are interested in this – your friends who are competitive parents will be interested in your kids’ academic performances too. To avoid sounding like a show off or self-depreciating, just tell them that you’re happy with your kids’ achievements, and just like all things in life, remind them you’re aware that there’s room for improvement.
These answers should be able to ensure that you enjoy a fuss-free Chinese New Year this month. However, in the event that you need these answers in Mandarin for Mandarin-speaking elders, Kaodim has Mandarin lessons you can sign up for. Just fill in the form here and we’ll send you some quotations so you can start answering these killer answers in fluent Mandarin this spring season!
written by Esther Chung