Saturday, February 13, 2010
Happy Chinese New Year's Eve!
Nowadays, you can find all sorts of information on cultural/ethnic celebrations everywhere - people, books, magazines, wiki, online, radio, tv, photographers, etc.
But only I (and other people I'm related to) can tell you what my family does for Chinese New Year. Most of which revolves around food. We usually have something deep fried - shrimp chips is the typical. And there's "tong yun," a type of dumpling in soup, that is savory or sweet. Then there's the new clothes thing, and the frenzy of cleaning followed by three days of everything BUT cleaning.
And of course, the "lai see," those lucky, red packets with gold inscriptions filled with happiness. Gotta have those. These are the most important ones in my family. All the students get double (sometimes more) the standard amount.
Students were supposed to get double because it brings luck to their studies. The more luck a student gets, the more luck gets reciprocated back to the giver. That, and my family is pretty big on studying anyway.
So here's my plan: I'm not going to put actual money in lai see to give to my students. I'm going to sink enough cash as it is into my classroom. I'll probably do something like small erasers, or chocolate coins, or those fun, dinky post-it notes in animal shapes from Daiso. But I'll pass them out, explaining the "luck" that is supposed to go towards their studies.
Absolutely non-academic activity. Yet, worth it, I believe.