Happy Lunar New Year

#CNYSYD2014 Horse Illust by Hu Ming

Chinese New Year is finally here, the year of the horse gallops in on the heels of the previous one! Or should I say hooves?

Traditions from old days dictate that red and gold should be worn for luck and that people should not work on new year, but in this day and age, few people are able to keep such traditions, especially for those that live in foreign countries. Therefore it makes sense most people don’t follow the traditions to not shower during the period either, lest it ‘washes away the good fortune’.

Not being some of those lucky ones in Hong Kong today enjoying their long weekend (at a cost), I decked out in white and black for work as though I were wishing death on someone — perhaps mosquitoes for their tenacity? Or perhaps wishing death to a certain boyfriend’s current infection.

In any case, wishing people a happy Chinese New Year doesn’t feel entirely right these days, considering the Vietnamese (Tết) and Koreans (Seollal) also share the occasion with unsurprisingly similar rituals. Apparently the Mongolians and Tibetans do as well, however I’m not very versed in their ways nor their language. Unfortunately it does highlight our need for a minority group representative.

Today, along with the usual Chinese greeting, I endeavoured to be more inclusive in wishing all a happy Lunar New Year, rather than keeping the focus on the multitudes of Chinese around the world. Not only that, but I placed specific emphasis on the usage of both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Most people only ever default to one or the other which I feel is grossly wrong.

While I wouldn’t mind if everyone used Traditional (ahem), at the least if Simplified must be used, I would include Traditional with it since it harkens back to our roots so much more accurately.

With that, Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!

恭喜發財 (gung hei faat choy)! 恭喜发财 (gung xi fa cai)! Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (saehae bok mani badeuseyo)!

Image for #cnysyd 2014 by Hu Ming. More Info: Around the world