xīn nián kuài lè (Happy Chinese New Year!)

Early on, J and I decided that we will send our children to a Chinese school. Personally, I am impressed by how simple most Chinese children are despite their wealth. Most students coming from Chinese schools seem to be good in math (from my observation in teaching college students who came from Chinese schools). But most importantly, I want my children to learn a second language. Chinese seems to be a natural choice because of the intimate relationship between Filipino and Chinese culture and the influence of the latter in many aspects of ordinary Filipino life.

Yesterday, Danielle had her first Chinese New Year celebration. I was pleasantly surprised that her Chinese teacher gave her a red envelope (hóng bāo) with money in it and a personalised greeting card with a picture of her and danielle. I made a quick search and found out that red is a lucky color in Chinese culture. It has become a tradition to give red envelopes containing new crisp bill(s) to children and Chinese new year signals a fresh start. Here are the contents of Danielle’s red envelope:

The value of the money should not be 4, 40, 400 or anything with 4 in its value. Even numbers are favored over odd numbers. However, an odd number is welcome. In Danielle’s case, she and her classmates received 1 yuan each.

So to everyone, xīn nián kuài lè (Happy New Year!)

Danielle with her English Teacher
Danielle with her classmates (L-R: Page, Dhara, Skylar)
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