Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year



Gong Xi Fa Cai

Way of the Rat? …Year of the Rat!


-Swinebread

15 comments:

Selba said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai :)

'Way of the rat' looks interesting.

pissed off patricia said...

And right back atcha!

Fade said...

I loved that series. Most of the Sigil-verse crap wasn't very good, but Way of the Rat was excellent.

ladybug said...

That looks like a very cool series...I always hate it when something creative and GOOD gets shafted by not-so-good business...

Dean Wormer said...

Isn't part of the tradition that you have to eat the animal representing the new year?

Swinebread said...

Selba – Hi! Way of the Rat is a very good comic. It’s the best Chinese fantasy comic done in the west IMO. The crossgen went broke so only 24 issues were published. They’ve mostly been collected into trade paperbacks but I’m sure you’d have to order them on line. Highly recommended.

POP – Thanks!

Fade – I agree, what I did read was after crossgen went broke and I was able to pick the stuff for real cheap. I kinda’ liked Brath too.

LB – Yeah, crossgen really had a bad business model. But Way of the Rat is great.

Dean – Yes, but the year of the Dragon is a tough

Fade said...

The early issues of The Path were my favorite. Just gorgeous artwork

Dr. Zaius said...

It is pronounce slighty differently depending on the dialect. "Gung Hoy Fa Choy, Lie See Dow Loy!" [sic] loosely translates to "Congratulations, you have more wealth! Give me lucky money!"

"Gung Hoy Fa Choy!" does not translate directly into "Happy New Year!"

Married people have to give single people "lucky money" on Chinese new year. If a single person says, "Gung Hoy Fa Choy, Lie See Dow Loy!" to a married person, and the married person does not give the single people a red envelope with some lucky money in it, then they will have bad luck for the whole year.

Rich married people are obligated by tradition to give more than poor married people, and it is kind of a matter of pride in how much a married person gives. It is important that a married person not look cheap, or they will lose face with their peers.

Say "Gung Hoy Fa Choy, Lie See Dow Loy!" to a married Chinese person on Chinese new year, and hold out your hand. They will look at you funny and call you "stupid kwailo" under their breath, but they have to give you lucky money or they will have bad luck all year!

Swinebread said...

Fade – I read them as trades and liked them a lot, then I read “The First” and it ruined the whole thing…

Dr. Zaius – Hmmm I copied the greeting from Selba’s (gado gado feelings) website as and she used it in a manner like happy new year… oh well, it was worth screwing it up just to get your explanation. I wonder if married folks in China stay home on New Year so they don’t have to give away too much money. :D

I consider myself schooled by the great Dr. Zaius… Now I know that the Dr. part of your name refers to a PhD… …or are you some kinda’ renaissance ape like Buckaroo Banzi?

Selba said...

It's true that "Gong Xi Fa Cai" isn't literally mean "Happy New Year"

Instead, it would mean "wishing you enlarge your wealth."

Gong Xi: wishing/blessing

Fa: enlarge(ment)

Cai: wealth

So a literal translation is that you wish someone will become very rich, but the phrase is generally used as Happy New Year.

During Chinese New Year, every Chinese people (old people, young people, children, married, unmarried) will greet each other with "Gong Xi Fa Cai" or "Gung Hei Fatt Choy" or the other dialect with the same meaning of Gong Xi Fa Cai.

So, it's not true as what dr. Zaius said in his comment, "Say "Gung Hoy Fa Choy, Lie See Dow Loy!" to a married Chinese person on Chinese new year, and hold out your hand. They will look at you funny and call you "stupid kwailo" under their breath, but they have to give you lucky money or they will have bad luck all year!

Giving money to unmarried people during Chinese New Year isn't really an obligation, it's only tradition...

FYI, so far (more than 30 years being unmarried), I have received the red envelope with money inside (we called it as "ang pao/pow") only 2 times! One was from my ex-boss and the other is from a malaysian blogger.

Selba said...

Something more to add :)

Gong Xi Fa Cai is standard mandarin (the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China)

Gung Hei Fatt Choy is a chinese dialect which is Cantonese. Majority people in Hong Kong and Macau speak this dialect.

Isis said...

Happy New Year. Something about Chinese culture that places too much emphasis on "wealth" has always bothered me, so I always tell my Chinese friends that the greatest wealth is health and so wish them good health and happiness, and skip any references to money.

Swinebread said...

Selba - Thank you Selba for clearing that up. I was hoping that I could just use the expression and not worry about it.

The sad thing about western education is that it too western focused and so Asian traditions just sort of appear in a cultural vacuum. There is no context…

Maybe Dr. Zaius is talking about an experience that’s somewhat unique to his environment but I guess he have to respond to that.

Thanks again ☺ this is why I love blogging

Isis – I didn’t want to say anything but now that you’ve mentioned it, it bothers me a little too. I have always wondered about the emphasis on wealth and China going communist. It seems a contradiction on the surface.

Selba said...

Uhmmm.... well.... "There's a reason behind everything".

Firstly before we "judge", I think we need to learn first the history of Chinese people why they like to wish wealth to other people.

In the past (the chinese imperial time and the communist years), most people in China are very poor... especially those village people. Therefore, they would like to wish people to be rich.

These days, the phrase of "Gong Xi Fa Cai" is become an ordinary greeting just like when we say "Happy New Year". Thus, do you think all Chinese people (about 1,5 billions in China with the other Chinese ethnics in other countries) should change the phrase just in order not to look materialistic?

Swinebread said...

Whoa, I just wanted to wish everybody a Happy Lunar New Year. I’m Sorry if this turned into something else. No, I don’t think 1.5 billion+ Chinese should change their greeting, I’m just making chitchat with folks that are kind enough to visit my blog… obviously this has gotten out of hand… sorry.