To people of Chinese origin, no matter where they are in the world, the Chinese New Year is a very special occasion. To them, this day has special auspiciousness and it holds propitious properties. If their hopes and dreams are made on such an occasion, the chances of them materializing are said to be better.
Everyone has hopes and dreams, so you can safely say every Chinese offers prayers, makes new wishes and dreams new dreams on this auspicious day. The foremost wish heads of Chinese households usually make is that their families be blessed with good health, good luck and good fortune during the whole year. Each occasion they will take to petition without fail when the Chinese New Year Day comes around.
Though the parents are the ones who normally harbor wishes, make supplications and dream new dreams, the children themselves often do carry out their own praying and own wishing though their actions may not be so open and obvious.
In households where there are young children parents usually pray that their young ones be provided with full protection, that they be allowed to grow up without encountering any health problems.
Children being children, those in this young-age group usually would ask for more pocket money, hope for better presents or dream that they get what they crave for.
In those households with school-going children the parents would normally pray for more than just protection against accidents and illnesses for their off-springs. On top of the normal requests they would also request the children be granted good grades in their studies. But the things most close to their hearts are that their children be filial and obedient . This is definitely included in their lists of Chinese New Year fervent hopes and wishes.
The school-going children are older, they are now in a social environment where peer pressure plays a very significant part. So they wish now to be given more freedom, less surveillance and not to be too-tightly controlled by their parents. They may not consciously petition for these, but they would definitely wish for them in their hearts.
Those parents with working children have a slightly different set of hopes and wishes. Their utmost concern here is that their working children secure well-paying jobs and gain advancement in their employment. Requests for such graces are fervently and dutifully supplicated on Chinese New Year Day by these parents..
The adult children themselves now have more social activities, their wishes and hopes reflect their present lifestyle. They hope for more pay and more time for their social activities. On the family front, they hope their parents will nag them less and at the same time will also ask less pocket money from from them, so that they have more for themselves.
Now we come to the parents with children of the marriageable status. It is not difficult to guess what preoccupied the minds of these parents. With disquiet and anxiety in their hearts, the supplications offered are more incessant and of much more fervor. Their intense desire is that potential partners for their children would somehow appear.
These unmarried children, especially the girls, often find the relationships with their parents strained during this period. This comes about because the parents in their eagerness to see the children married often overdo their concern until it become an irritant to the children involved. In some instances, the embarrassment turns into anger and unkind words are thrown at the well-meaning parents. So wishing for an escape from such tension, would usually be these children’s new year wish.
The final group of parents are those whose children have outgrown all the above stages. The children are now all adults and married. Yet these parents of these children still harbor concern for them. Their strong paternal instinct lead them to put forth ardent and passionate pleas to the divine . Here they implore the divine to grant them the pleasure of holding grandchildren in their arms. They have strong desire to be grandparents as soon as possible.
The married children often take this as idle concern. Trouble so often develops in the relationship. Matter is further complicated as there is an added element in the family equation – the daughters-in-law. Many daughters-in-law view such concern as pointless and the questionings, the prodding and the unsolicited advices are often interpreted as interferences. The young couples in this group just wish for a bit of peace and quiet and that their parents would tone down their over-zealousness.
I am sure every one in each family wishes to see peace, joy and happiness prevail in his own family. I am certain each parent loves each member of the family. It is no difference for the child, each has deep love and concern for his parents, he wishes to see them happy and healthy. So, for both sides the aims and the motivations are similar, we can see it is the approaches that are wrong.
In this spirit of calmness, goodwill, warmth and genuine love that only Chinese New Year can offer us, let us clearly take cognition that the troubles brewing in most families are a result of clashes of wants, hopes and expectations of the different individuals in the family. Most families could enjoy happiness, joy , peace and harmony if the young and the old would exercise more restraint. Let each rein in the over-zealousness and anxiety in wanting to get what each desires and thinks it is in his right to demand. Let each places fewer expectations and hopes on the other. Rejoice with what we already have. Let us learn to be thankful for having the opportunity to share our lives together as a family. Be mindful of it each day. Let us place family harmony first.
“GONG XI FATT CAI”
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