SINGAPORE: A 27-year-old married woman took to social media to share that her parents still “force her to kneel during the CNY.”
“My parents like to take videos of us doing so, and I feel a bit uncomfortable with 1. forcing me to kneel and 2. recording vids/taking pictures, and posting on fb,” the woman wrote on r/askSingapore on Friday (Feb 9).
She then asked her fellow Singaporeans, “Does anyone still practice kneeling during cny bainian towards their own parents?”
‘If you are uncomfortable with it, share it with them tactfully.’
Numerous Singaporean Redditors in the comments section advised her to speak directly with her parents if she had any concerns about the tradition.
One Redditor commented, “If it is important to them, do it. If you are uncomfortable with it, share it with them tactfully. If you are uncomfortable with them posting the video, communicate it.
Whatever you do, do so with sincerity. Older generations like traditions. But if they really love you, they will also respect your feelings.”
Another said, “Never done that. Try telling them your discomfort. Cny greetings is about sincere well wishes not about kneeling.”
While some Redditors said they still practised this tradition to this day and did not mind it, others said they had never done it and had never heard of it.
One Redditor said, “have never heard of that tradition, and have never seen my relatives make their children do that either (maybe other than those tea ceremony at chinese weddings?)”
Kneeling during Chinese New Year
Aside from giving ang baos, kneeling down to ‘bai nian’ or offering Chinese New Year greetings to elders is an Asian tradition that has been around for a long time.
In Chinese culture, kneeling signifies respect, modesty, and hierarchical recognition. Its origins can be traced back to the teachings of the past, particularly Confucian philosophy, which played a major role in shaping the moral and ethical values of Chinese society.
Kneeling has been a feature of many rites, rituals, and daily interactions throughout history, representing the fundamental principles preserved for ages.
Over the years, however, this tradition has become less common during the Chinese New Year.