Here’s wishing everyone a blessed Year of the Ox. Enjoy the holidays!
Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family, dear Michelle. May the year of the ox be a good one for all of you!
GONG XI FA CAI to you.
Happy Chinese New Year to all!
Reflection on Chinese New Year Greetings:
Despite of living through so many Chinese New Year,I still feel uncomfortable with the greetings of ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’. I have no doubt about their sincerity. But, I really wish that people do not wish me this way.
Literally, ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ means ‘Congratulations, you have grown rich!’. I do not want to be cynical or sarcastic about economic well-being which is essential to mental well-being. But, this cultural aspect is too materialistic for me. If we greet people who are unemployed, retrenched, or about to be retrenched, or in deep financial difficulties or who has little inclination for riches this way, I wonder how do they feel?
Of all the traditional greetings, I find this one rather appealing: ‘On a hundred feet bamboo pole, go a step further’. Figuratively, it means that after achieving a high standard, we still need to continue to work hard for higher achievement. This encourages and empower peolple to go further.
It can be also be interpreted this way; it asks people to get out of the comfort zone of standing on a firm bamboo pole, and take a further step even if there is the risks of falling. The fear of failure has trapped many a people so much so that the pole becomes a psychological clutch. This empowers people to new way of living.
A sane and healthy society is one with good social safety nets for all(bamboo poles) and that encourages people to explore frontiers(freedom of movement). Societies that are repressive tend also to lack social nets.
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