Xin Cia in My Eyes

Posted on February 3, 2011

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Today is Chinese New Year. Gong xi fa cai.

As with other major celebrations of holy days besides Christianity, I sometimes do not know the detailed significance behind those celebrations. What I do know is that all convey kind, noble virtues. None of them is an invitation to hostility or grudge against each other.

In a country where you live side by side with different ethnics, different races, different religions and different beliefs, you are compelled to learn tolerance. You have to learn to respect others of different category. Yes, you have the right to claim that your belief is the only truth (otherwise, you will not adhere to it, right?), but at the same time you have the obligation to respect other people’s beliefs, which may be different, and even contradictory to yours. I guess that’s the essence of tolerance.

I am married to an ethnic-Chinese woman, which is why I receive ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ wishes from my friends. I did not sweep my floor this morning because the Chinese believe that doing so will sweep away all the fortunes from my house. Fine.

Tomorrow I will have someone mend my roof and repaint my walls. The Chinese believe that beautifying the house invites good fortune and charm. Fine. I have no problem with that.

I put a considerable amount of money in red envelopes, and then gave them to my daughter, my son, and my Mother-in-law. Significance? I dont know, I am not a Chinese, I’m a half-bred Arabic and Javanese married to a Chinese. What I know and feel is that giving is good. And I did feel good seeing them beaming with happiness as they received the ang pao. “Thanks, son, may you have long and prosperous life” my Mother-in-law said.

Happy Chinese New Year! God bless you all!

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