Diploma in Mass Communication, IACT College


FOR me, a “yum cha” (which literally translates to “drink tea” in Cantonese) session is usually just a meet up in a “mamak” restaurant, chatting with friends, swinging our legs carefreely and laughing over stupid matters.

This is the time when most young people catch up on each other’s lives, gossip, share common interests, debate, give advice, get advice and sometimes even engage in serious political discussions.
In other words, yum cha session could simply be described as “just chilling”.

Many parents often think that yum cha sessions are unnecessary – a waste of our time and money. Their minds are often full with questions such as “Who are you going out with?”, “Why do you come home so late?”, ”Why waste money?”, “Why do you hang out with people who smoke?”, “Why do you smell like smoke?”.

I don’t think that we waste too much money during yum cha because having a few local drinks (teh tarik, iced Milo or Kopi-O) won’t amount to more than RM6, and even if the bill does get higher, we usually split the cost among ourselves.

This is also the time when we make new friends, build a network of contacts which could possibly help us snag a job or even buy a house. You’ll never know.

If parents are still worried about their teenage kids hanging out with their friends, what they could do is enforce tighter curfews (like at 2am) and frequently call to check up on us. On the other hand, we could also play our part and make life easier for them by updating our current locations when we’re out with friends.

I know of some strict parents who cut their children’s allowances simply for coming home late but that may only raise conflicts in the family.

Honestly, I believe that parents should be open-minded when it comes to letting their teenagers socialise and let them learn from their mistakes.

I usually have about three to four yum cha sessions with my buddies be it old friends, classmates, best friends or just some of my girlfrinds for some “girl talk”.

The best yum cha session is of course with my best friends because they are the ones closest to me and we could stay up all night just chilling and laughing at each other’s jokes.

However, I do sometimes feel annoyed when my parents call me when it gets too late, and I was just in the middle of having so much fun.

My parents would be like, “Come home now!” and I’d have to excuse myself from my friends and the fun ends just like that.

That’s why I now remember to tell my parents if I’ll be getting home later than when I told them, and sometimes would even text them when I’m out.

In conclusion, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with yum cha sessions because it is the only time where we could meet up after a long day at work or college.

So to all the teenagers out there, parents will call you when you’re hanging out with your friends – and that’s for a reason; they care about you.

Just tell them who you’re with and where you’re going and when you are out on a yum cha session, remember to be cautious and most of all have fun.

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