Although it's easy to forget that we're already in the second month of 2024, the transition from the Gregorian New Year to the Lunar New Year adds a bit of magical color to the past month. If you haven't started working on your New Year's resolutions in the Gregorian calendar, tell yourself that you'll begin after the Lunar New Year. During this month borrowed from the divine, let's chat about what the editor has to say before the Lunar New Year.

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A few days ago, the editor's family was discussing how to say "New Year's Eve" in Taiwanese Minnan language. After much discussion, they had to consult the grandmother. The grandmother replied, "We just say '圍爐' (gûi-lôo), or the day of gûi-lôo." Even if not every family has hot pot on New Year's Eve, the anticipation of gathering together for a meal is always there.

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One fascinating aspect of the local language is how everything seems to be translated and retold in a very indigenous way. Before the appearance of modern road names, directions were often given using phrases like "XXX's house" or "XXX's shop" as a guide. Even with modern road signs, when asking locals for directions, you might still hear instructions like "turn right at the Earth God Temple."

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Similarly, "the day of gûi-lôo" symbolizes one of the most anticipated events in the transition from the old to the new. Regardless of where family members are located, there's always the hope for a large round table that can be the destination for a reunion. It's like there's a group of people, rightfully called "family," waiting silently at the table for you to come home.

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Even if you can't return home, or if the so-called "home" doesn't have the same table, don't forget to make a call to the people who care about you. Take the time to share all the recent good, bad, happy, and sad moments over the phone. Whether you're living far from home in the north or south, there's always someone by the phone hoping to hear if you've eaten and dressed warmly.

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Family isn't solely based on blood relations; it's more about the interactions and mutual companionship between members. Even when separated by distance, we can't let the intertwining of lives among family members come to a halt. The reason we can be called family is that I live in their lives, and they live in mine.


Make that call to the people who care!

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