Source: Sinosphere, NYT (1/27/17)
Surviving Chinese New Year With the Family: A Musical How-To
By DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW
《春節自救指南》- 上海彩虹室內合唱團 “A Spring Festival Survival Guide,” just in time for Chinese New Year’s reunions. Video by Rainbow Chamber Singers | 上海彩虹室内合唱团
BEIJING — Holidays can be joyful times, bringing together long-separated family members. They can also be the most dreaded times for precisely that reason. Things may go horribly wrong under the weight of mutual expectations, and escape is difficult.
In China, where an individual’s business is the family’s business, the questions are unremitting: “How much do you earn? Why don’t you have a better job? When will you marry? When will you have children? How did you get so fat?” Throughout the ordeal, the cornered victim must maintain at least the appearance of filial respect to his or her elders.
But this year, a bit of relief is at hand for the millions of Chinese dashing home to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which begins Friday night, in the bosom of their family: a song, spreading fast online, performed by the Rainbow Chamber Singers in Shanghai. In Chinese, it’s titled “A Spring Festival Survival Guide.” (Chinese New Year is commonly called Spring Festival.)
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The video also carries the English title “What I Do Is For Your Own Good.” (Has anyone reading this not heard that line at least once?) The lyrics — English subtitles provided — and music are by Jin Chengzhi, who is also the choir’s conductor. The verve of its performance and its universal theme cry out for fuller treatment. How about a musical?
Watch, enjoy and Happy Year of the Rooster!