Kung Hei Fat Choi


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 cel­e­bra­tionsand 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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