To welcome the Lunar New Year, SCENE SHANG, together with PREP Luxe and a talented photographer, Jacqueline Chang (@5degreeshift), speak with 5 very inspiring women to discover what new beginnings mean to them. In this post, we speak with Dr Jade Kua, Consultant at the Department of Emergency Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
We’ve had quite a serendipitous introduction to Dr Jade Kua and she has never failed to intrigue us with new stories each time since. We entered her very beautifully decked and efficiently organised home for the second time now and once again, were greeted by the enthusiastic vibe of her children, 3 huge dogs and of course, Dr Jade’s very hospitable self. This time, we were let into some of her family’s traditions as she shared about her New Beginnings with us.
What does New Beginnings mean to you?
I think first of all, it sort of means that you should really put the past firmly in the past. There are traditions that we will always keep, heirlooms that we will always use, and these will always anchor us in our culture, which is wonderful and that’s why we make a big deal out of celebrating Chinese New Year every year amongst other festivals. But particularly Chinese New Year because of the links with family, which is lovely. But otherwise, episodes that would have happened between people, I feel like it should be in the past and we have a fresh start for everybody. It’s second chances.
Have you had a significant new beginning recently?
Well, I just had a baby, Marcel is three months old now, and that’s been quite a wonderful experience. He’s the sixth child in our little family, so I guess our little family’s not so little anymore.
Do you have a favourite Chinese New Year saying?
So there’s this thing that we do in the family. There’s our family, and my husband is the youngest of three siblings, so we get up bright and early on Chinese New Year day. We go to his parents’ place, and then we have a vegetarian breakfast. I don’t know if you guys observe that as well, but you can only eat vegetarian things. And then we go off to the temple, and then we come back, and then we do this sort of rite of passage thing. We’re all dressed up in our finery, and then we all have to kneel down, generation by generation, according to birth order, to say “in the new year, may you have prosperity and long life.”