Or­ange Valen­tine

Some young people try their luck at find­ing love the tra­di­tional way.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R.AGE - By JAYDEE LOK allther­age@thes­tar.com.my

IN­STEAD of be­ing wined and dined by the man of my dreams (Tom Hid­dle­ston was busy pre­mier­ing his new movie Only Lovers Left Alive with Tilda Swin­ton), I spent Valen­tine’s Day this year with over 1000 strangers by the lake in Ta­man Jaya in Petaling Jaya, Se­lan­gor. Not that I’m com­plain­ing. On top of be­ing the an­niver­sary of the highly ro­man­ti­cised demise of poor Saint Valen­tine, last Fri­day also co-in­cided with Chap Goh Meh - which trans­lates to “15th night” in Hokkien – the fi­nal day of the Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tions. It is also of­ten re­ferred to as the “Chi­nese Valen­tine’s Day” – in South­east Asia, at least.

So once a year, el­li­gi­ble bach­e­lorettes from all walks of life (some­times with all their fam­ily and friends) gather by this lake (other pop­u­lar lo­ca­tions in­clude Es­planade Pe­nang and Ta­man Tasik Per­maisuri and Ta­man Ti­ti­wangsa in KL) to throw or­anges with their names and con­tact num­bers writ­ten on them for sin­gle men to col­lect.

This year, it seemed that many or­anges lacked dig­its and in­stead were marked with what ap­peared to be Twit­ter han­dles and Face­book URLs.

A pretty apt way to pro­vide one’s con­tact de­tails, I thought, con­sid­er­ing how the act of con­tact­ing some­one that you only know by name can be com­pared to find­ing a nee­dle in the haystack. And be­sides, why would you want to give out your num­ber to strangers? You never know for sure if the per­son you’re about to meet is go­ing to be crazy in love with you or just plain crazy – or worst, both.

Any­way, I de­cided I wasn’t go­ing to risk it. (My lack of enthusiasm might also ex­plain why I’m still sin­gle.)

De­spite hav­ing lived in the Klang Val­ley my whole life, I had never once at­tended any Chap Goh Meh fes­tiv­i­ties be­cause no­body from my cir­cle of friends seems in­ter­ested in things like this. How on earth was I sup­posed to know what to do when I reached the lake?

When I got there, I felt like a dis­tant ob­server – qui­etly soak­ing in my sur­round­ings.

Or­ange-throw­ing wasn’t the only thing sched­uled for the night. A stage was set up for Town Coun­cil mem­bers to yell “gong xi

de­spite the rain, many people stayed through­out the Chap Goh Meh event at Ta­man Jaya, Se­lan­gor, to get soaked and to soak in the fun.

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