Kung Hei Fat Choy!!!!!!
Kung Hei Fat Choy!!!!!!
Nearly every English speaking country has this expression. They know the meaning of this phrase, which is 'Happy New Year' to them.
I have been to a hotel recently, where I saw a 'Chinese-styled decorated tree' which made me think of Chinese New Year (CNY). However, I have to mention that the two giant X'mas trees were still standing there with the sparkling, but not timely lightings.
For them, Chinese means a new source of business, you have to accustomed to their habits, at least to know their preferences at the first stage. As I am working in tourism industry, I don't find it really 'new'. People has been ignoring the influence of Cantonese, esp. Hong Kong Cantonese in the globalising world. Kung Hei Fat Choy is a typical example. Not difficult to see where this 'translation' comes from. British, or possibly other foreigners, may not hear about CNY from Hong Kong people, but they definitely learn about the customs and habits about CNY from us. 恭喜發財 is only spoken by Hong Kong Chinese, or WAS only spoken by us, as other Chinese are being affected by our culture, unthinkably (not to me, but to many others). People in Guengzhou say (or said, 同上) 新年好. Hong Kong people do not treasure our own culture, 讓我痛心. What is undergoing in CU really makes me sad, but angry, esp. when people trying to mislead the others that a dialect (a strong dialect which is spoken by millions of people, including more and more foreigners) could not be a 'mother tongue'. Hate to see people who don't respect truths and facts, and now, somehow I hate the feeling that foreigners are trying to learn our culture without understanding even superficially. For instance, Kung Hei Fat Choy is just the most commonly used greeting in CNY, but it doesn't really mean 'Happy New Year'. Funny enough, the Director of Sales & Marketing of the hotel I mentioned, probably anticipating Chinese guests, only knew 4 means bad luck for Chinese, but not even know the phrase 'Kung Hei Fat Choy'. I wouldn't blame her, as I couldn't be demanding because it is not an English-dominated society, the knowledge towards China bewteen British and many other Europeans still differ a lot.
And as I have heard from my Mum, New York has added a new holiday especially for Chinese in CNY. I found this idea very disgusting, although some people welcome this, and even believe this practice signifies the increasing status of Chinese in other countries. My point is simple, I don't want to be treated specially. Most physically handicapped people would agree, 最最可怕的歧視就是與別人不同的待遇。If I am to live in a place outside my homeland, I am expected, and should expect to live in the local lifestyle. At least I have to try! I should learn and understand their language and culture, try to mix with the locals. The first step to fight against discrimination is understanding, at least I believe so. I am not saying that people should not be allowed to celebrate their own festivals or to practice their traditions, but why do you try to distinguish them by marking them with a different label? What would you feel if you know that your colleaque has one more day-off just because (s)he is from Country A, so (s)he is entitled to celebrate his/her traditional festival? In the western system, normally people can choose when to take their annual leaves, which can take place on such special occasions. However, giving people 'privilege' to have a holiday creates conflicts and potentially leading to discrimination. Why shouldn't everybody living in the same neighbourhood trying to celebrate together? Residents of the same place should not be identified or grouped by their nationalities or races. I can only see this policy bringing conflicts, but not integrating Chinese into their society, or not in the proper way. This policy is not a respect or recognition of Chinese, it is the cause of more problems. Aren't we saying we don't want 分化? Then how can some Chinese welcome this new 'holiday'? Please don't MAGNIFY differences we have between one another......
Last but not least, (有點)遲來的祝福: 新年快樂! 身體健康! 同舟共濟﹐共創未來! (不想再講'恭喜發財'了!)