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Alison Jeriel Wong: My Chinese New Year


Alison Jeriel Wong lives and works in the bustling shopping haven that is Singapore. With Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival celebrations nearly here, she shares her festive favourites with Katie Ramsingh

Katie Ramsingh,

Where do you live?
I live in Woodlands, which is in the north of Singapore. Woodlands is at the border of Singapore and Malaysia is just a 10-minute drive away. Because of how near Woodlands is to Malaysia, it has retained a rustic charm that is quite unlike the other bustling towns of Singapore. The landscape is lusher and the pace is slightly more bearable!

Which part of Chinese New Year are you most looking forward to?
The Lunar New Year holiday is a 15-day affair and part of the celebration entails meeting up with friends, eating heartily at these gatherings and also a spot of friendly gambling. It is also one of the few occasions when women can put on the traditional cheongsam.

What are the Chinese New Year essentials?
One of the key traditions of the Lunar New Year festival is the snacking and there’s a lot of that going on this time of year. Typical New Year snacks include pineapple tarts, bak kwah (sweet grilled pork) and – my personal favourite – kueh bangkit (coconut cookies).

What do you wear when celebrating the Spring Festival?
Auspicious colours like red are usually worn for Chinese New Year, and as it is the festival of spring and rebirth, it is tradition that we wear all things new on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Personally, I also make it a point to wear my cheongsam (a traditional, if somewhat unforgivingly body-hugging Chinese dress) during this time of year.

Which is the most fashionable part of Singapore?
Orchard Road is the main fashion and shopping belt where all the major labels are. But there are also many pockets of very interesting fashion haunts around Singapore, like Haji Lane and Club Street.

Do you have a favourite designer?
I can’t say I have a single favourite designer but I appreciate designers/designs that infuse fashion with a splash of art and whimsy, someone like Rei Kawakubo.

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