福福福

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For ex­am­ple, Chi­nese peo­ple nor­mally wish their el­ders to “own hap­pi­ness as im­mense as the Eastern Sea” (福如东海) when cel­e­brat­ing their birthdays. In a wed­ding cer­e­mony, the guests wish for the bride and the groom to “live a happy life” (幸福美满). Other good wishes in­clude “may the Five Bless­ings come to your door” (五福临门), “may both hap­pi­ness and wealth be yours” (福禄 双全 ), and “may the Star of For­tune be shin­ing on you” (福星高照). The Chi­nese love for the char­ac­ter “福 ” is so broad and pro­found that dur­ing the Spring Festival hol­i­day, all the cities, towns, and vil­lages in China are flooded by the tor­rents of this char­ac­ter.

As you can see, “福 ” now refers to far richer con­tents than what its struc­ture orig­i­nally im­plied, and be­comes even more com­pli­cated in its in­gre­di­ents than Western con­no­ta­tions about “hap­pi­ness.” We know that all of us, re­gard­less of which cul­ture, hold sim­i­lar hopes to­ward what we prize in this con­flict­ing world. Any­way, my friend, I wish you all have as much 福 as pos­si­ble, no mat­ter what it means to you.

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