Happy Chinese New Year! May you have a prosperous year ahead! This year I do like most other people do during chinese new year, Dinner.

I went back to my home town, Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Yes I was born there. My family moved to Jakarta when I was in primary school. As I could remember, the last time I went back was in 2006. As my friends know me, I dont regularly going back for chinese new year, the air ticket price is getting expansive.

However this year I decided to go back, and I didn’t regret any single dollar, and second that I spent at Palembang. Let me tell you why.

Happiness is in the air
This photo was taken at my grandparents house. I spent half of my childhood there.

The people in the photo are about half of my mother’s family. The house was so crowded that we need to sleep on the living room 🙂 Definitely this is the best chinese new year dinner I have ever had. This post is not about my self boasting around about me and my family, the objective of this post is to share 2 things that I learned from this year chinese new year.

1. Family could become one of the source of true happiness: its true. I don’t really know about this kind of happiness before. The most common concept of happiness that I know is about getting what I want, then I am happy. But this kind of happiness that I experienced with my family is not only about receiving or getting. In fact I dont really know what to expect when I went back (except for the great food in my home town, yes my home town has really really great food). What we did back then were sharing. We shared our story, good and bad (everybody has good and bad story). We shared gifts, red packet (ang pao), prayer, etc.

2. Family could become one of your success measurement: I learned this when I looked at my grandparents. They kept many old photos, even from the one when my mother was at her primary school time. If you see the photos, you will notice that my grandparents are very successful people. They raised 9 children,16 grandchildren who lives in 6 cities and 4 countries. When I looked at them, I was reminded about John Wooden definition about success.

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

I think what Don Corleone in the movie Mafia part one is really true “a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” My grand fathers definitely are real man.

My friends, if you have the occasion, opportunity, chance, please do spend your time with your family. Even a phone call, sms, skype, chat may do. Tell them that you love them, share to them your story.