Most of us have a love hate relationship with Chinese New Year. The yearly tradition of prolonged hours spent with distant family, a time where “awkwardness” is given an intense new meaning. We broach on conversation topics ranging from – jobs, school or siblings who are away this CNY. A lot of the time, conversations somehow lead back to food. Which shop in Singapore sells the best pineapple tarts (Le Cafe) or the trendy seafood restaurant using a new utensils concept of plastic bags and your own hands (Crab in da Bag). We Singaporean love our food. Besides, this indulgence always proves to be a safe topic. Here a few other conversation sparkers other than the weather.
1. Global Changes
There is bound to be that one relative who is well read and up to date with today’s news. In 2016, Brexit happened. Trump won the U.S. elections. Terrorism attacks occured in so many parts of the world. Karrada, Baghdad, Quetta, Nice, just to name a few. We lost musical icons like David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. Ask about opinions on these happenings and share some of your own opinions & feelings.
2. Technological Products
Last year, Amazon, Apple & Google launched smart home products – Echo, HomeKit & Google Home respectively. Techies would possibly have some improvement ideas and thoughts about these products. Share some of your own while listening and widening your perspective. If there aren’t any techies in your family, you can interest relatives with these huge technological advancements that are happening and how much convenience they can bring for their home. You can read up more about each product via its hyperlink above to be more informed ;).
3. Exercise & Health Trends
Last year, we saw many health trends. Tea & juice cleanses that claim to detox & rejuvenate an individual from the inside. Spin (indoor cycling) and Barre (exercise that combines ballet & pilates techniques) boutique studios opening up around Singapore. The rise of holistic health from essential oils to natural cold remedies. Don’t let an assumption that your uncles & aunts don’t know be the reason you don’t share. Chat and exchange ideas on the safety behind these trendy concepts and if you have actually tried one of them, share your personal experience!
4. Travel Plans
If you are in an unfortunate age gap (where slightly older relatives already starting families and slightly younger relatives only interested in toys & games), its hard to find a common subject. Thankfully, travel is an approachable matter to all ages! Open up a conversation with older relatives about their past year holiday experiences and ask if they have any planned trips this 2017. Distract the younger ones for a bit from their toys by asking them to share about holidays they have taken and what they liked most about it.