The Chinese love fÃºâ€‹ (no, not that foo’). Of all the characters you see in China, fÃºâ€‹ (ç¦) has got to be the most common. It’s everywhere, especially at Spring Festival. It can be understood as good fortune/luck/auspiciousness/blessing and is used in everything from the Chinese word for “happiness” (å¹¸ç¦) to “the Gospel” (ç¦éŸ³) to “Blessed are the poor…” in Luke 6 (“…æœ‰ç¦äº†ã€‚”).
Here’s a cheesy, hauntingly Dr. Suess-esque e-mail we got at work today (in Chinese) that expresses nicely how it feels to be literally surrounded by fÃºâ€‹s everywhere you go:
Tiger comes, fÃºâ€‹ comes,* every household fÃºâ€‹,
Tiger brings blessings filled up with fÃºâ€‹.
Tiger year enjoy fÃºâ€‹ different kinds of fÃºâ€‹:
Big fÃºâ€‹, small fÃºâ€‹, everywhere fÃºâ€‹,
Gold fÃºâ€‹, silver fÃºâ€‹, fully-stored-up fÃºâ€‹!
Welcome fÃºâ€‹, greet fÃºâ€‹ every year fÃºâ€‹,
Guard fÃºâ€‹, implore fÃºâ€‹, every age fÃºâ€‹!
Wish you tiger year even more… happiness.
I thought that last line is kind of a downer. You really though it was going to end with “fÃºâ€‹”, didn’t you? It does in Chinese, but as part of the word for “happiness” (å¹¸ç¦).
We just got some of our our Spring Festival fÃºâ€‹ today when my parents arrived from Canada to see
ustheir granddaughter (it’s their first time in China!), so the blog may be a little slow the next two weeks.
*(This older style grammar actually means ‘has arrived’ but doesn’t literally have past tense, sort of like “The Lord is come”… so I’m told.)
P.S. – For some reason it’s not letting me include the Chinese text… I’m using WordPress. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know! If I include the text, it removes all text (English and Chinese) from the post preview. Help!
Other stuff about celebrating Chinese New Year’s:
- â€˜Tis the season forâ€¦ RED PANTIES!
- Pun-based Chinese New Year customs
- Spending Chinese New Year with a Chinese family
- The Nian monster is coming! Better get some red underwear!
- Sharing Chinese New Yearâ€™s with the neighbours
- Happy New Year! Congratulations for not being eaten!
- Chinese New Year: a Passover?
- Happy New Year! (Taibei 2006)