English World

Costly or not, mandarins a must this New Year


PETALING JAYA: Mandarin oranges may be costlier this year but this does not mean that those celebrating Chinese New Year will be doing away with the fruit.

School teacher Annie Wong, 47, said mandarin oranges were a must for every Chinese New Year as these were usually given to relatives and friends.

“Mandarin oranges are usually only available during this time of the year. If the price is higher, we just have to buy fewer oranges,” she said.

Her colleague, Chia Poh Hooi, 38, agreed.

“I still have to buy oranges, even if they’re more expensive. It’s a tradition to give them to my in-laws when we visit,” said Chia.

Both Chia and Wong said they intended to buy oranges in bulk as the festive holiday approaches.

It was recently reported that prices for these oranges, which were brought in from China, were expected to increase between 20% to 60% this year due to a drought in Fujian province.

Besides giving the fruit away, many young people would throw these oranges into waterways during Chap Goh Meh.

College student Gifford Chee, 26, said as mandarin oranges were a major part of the festivities, he would not consider giving it up.

“The price hike may affect the sale of oranges for now but in the end the Chinese will still buy them. It’s basically the season to eat oranges,” he added.

Housewife Lillian Foong, 60, said she still preferred the regular fruit over mandarin oranges.

“My family doesn’t eat mandarin oranges so we just buy regular ones. The price (of regular oranges) hasn’t increased so far. That’s good,” said Foong.

“Usually, I will only buy one or two boxes to give away or to decorate my home.”


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