A group of gregarious youngsters is in the hall while the women are labouring in the kitchen.
Siblings and cousins strike up a chat on auspicious ingredients in festive food, their stomachs rumbling while waiting for the glorious meal to be served. The smells of various dishes being cooked are making their mouths water.
A teenage girl says: “Do you know eating he bao dan (fried egg in Mandarin) is special during Chinese New Year? It is symbolic of silver covering gold. You’ll be blessed with gold and silver!”