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Thursday, June 27, 2019
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Gacad Jr: Kung Hei Fat Choi

Ziggy Zaggy

THE Chinese New Year or ‘Spring Festival’ marks the beginning of the Year of The Pig, according to Chinese astrology, in which each year is related to a Chinese zodiac animal according to the 12-year cycle. In mainland China, Chinese New Year is also known as chunjie or Spring Festival. It is huge deal. And like other celebrations and festivities, wishes and greetings play an important role. One can give a more personal touch by wishing in native languages. But how to wish ‘Happy Chinese New Year 2019’ in Chinese?

“Gung Hay Fat Choy” or "Kung Hei Fat Choi" is one of the most commonly heard phrases when it comes to Chinese greetings. Well, here’s a little news for you all – it does not translate to ‘Happy New Year’ or ‘Happy Chinese New Year’. “Gung Hay Fat Choy” literally means "wishing you great happiness and prosperity," in Cantonese, which is widely spoken by Chinese living overseas. The most simple way to say Happy New Year in Chinese is "Xin Nián Kuài Lè."

Many Chinese fables tell an entertaining story to illustrate a moral lesson. Here are a few such stories.

In the Warring States Period, in the state of Wei lived a man called Leyangtsi. His wife was very angelic and virtuous, who was loved and respected dearly by the husband. One day, Leyangtsi found a piece of gold on his way home, and he was so delighted that he ran home as fast as he could to tell his wife. Looking at the gold, his wife said calmly and gently, "As you know, it is usually said that a true man never drinks the stolen water. How can you take such a piece of gold home which is not yours?" Leyangtsi was greatly moved by the words, and he immediately replaced it where it was.

The next year, Leyangtsi went to a distant place to study classics with a talented teacher, leaving his wife home alone. One day, his wife was weaving on the loom, when Leyangtsi entered. At his coming, the wife seemed to be worried, and she at once asked the reason why he came back so soon. The husband explained how he missed her. The wife got angry with what the husband did. Advising her husband to have fortitude and not be too indulged in the love, the wife took up a pair of scissors and cut down what she had woven on the loom, which made Leyangtsi very puzzled.

His wife declared, "If something is stopped halfway, it is just like the cut cloth on the loom. The cloth will only be useful if finished. But now, it has been nothing but a mess, and so it is with your study."

Leyangtsi was greatly moved by his wife. He left home resolutely and went on with his study. He didn't return home to see his beloved wife until gaining great achievements.

Afterward, the story was often used as a model to inspire those who would back out in competitions.

***

Long ago, there lived a young man, called Lisheng, who had just married a beauty. The bride was very willful. One day, she had an idea that a coat of fox fur would look pretty on her. So she asked her husband to get her one. But the coat was rare and too expensive. The helpless husband was forced to walk around on the hillside. Just at the moment, a fox was walking by. He lost no time to catch it by the tail. "Well, dear fox, let's make an agreement. Could you offer me a sheet of your skin? That isn't a big deal, is it?" The fox was shocked at the request, but she replied calmly, "Well, my dear, that's easy. But let my tail go so that I can pull off the skin for you." So the delighted man let her free and waited for the skin. But the moment the fox got free, she ran away as quickly as she could into the forest.

The story can be well used for reference that it is hard to ask someone to act against his own will, even though only a little sometimes.


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