Newsletter: 2018 February

News_Feb_China

Happy New Year! (Again?)

Keng Keng, did you get it wrong? I thought Jan was the "Happy New Year" newsletter?

No, I really meant to wish everyone a Happy New Year again. This time a Happy Lunar New Year! It is also known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival (春节 Chūn Jié). Often celebrated by those from the “Confucius Asian” cultural cluster, in places such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, it is also celebrated in many “Chinatowns” around the world. Lion and dragon dances, fire-crackers, red packets and well wishes are part of this important festival. It is a celebration for family and community, and it lasts for 15 days!

This year is the Year of “Earth Dog”, let’s start it with a February’s photo contest:

Where in the world was the above picture taken ?

The first person who submits the correct answer shall win a mysterious prize!

Australia

Here is the correct answer for our January photo contest:

AUSTRALIA!

The Jan photo was taken along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, about 3 to 4 hours scenic drive from Melbourne. The 12 Apostles is a popular tourist attraction site.

Click here if you want to know more about “the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles “

A Journey A Month…

Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

Many of us tend to assume that the world goes by the de facto 365-days Gregorian calendar, of which every new year begins on the 1st day of January.

In reality, there are many other calendar systems out there, religious or national, used by many different groups of people around the world.

Some of us may know the Julian calendar because we have worked in the manufacturing industry. We may have also heard of the more commonly known lunar or lunisolar systems of the Chinese, Hebrew, Hindu and Islamic calendars…but I don’t think many of us have heard of the Ethiopian calendar, right?

Yes, indeed – we are talking about the “same day of the same year” on this earth. Yet, there are so many different ways as we speak of that “same” day, It really depends on the calendar system we refer to. The system we decide to adopt is very much based on our perspectives on things/events most important and most relevant in our lives. Some may operate with more than one calendar. I know many in South East Asia countries operate with three: the standard Gregorian, a religious (eg: advent) and Chinese.

Just like the different calendar systems, we human also speak different languages, have different preferences for values in our lives depending on our different cultural roots. So, instead of allowing these differences to divide us from each other, maybe we should focus on the richness we can create from our diverse perspectives.

When we begin to understand there is no right or wrong way, but it is just about the different ways of doing things in life, we will learn to be more tolerant with each other. Only then, conflicts can become a positive exchange of minds, bringing better things and progress to this world.

Take this opportunity to find out more about the complex Chinese calendar system through this link:

https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/about-chinese.html

This February, on the 16th day (of the Gregorian calendar), it will be the 1st day of the 1st month of the Lunar New Year.

Did you realise that around a fifth of the world’s population (~ 1.5 billion people) will be celebrating the Lunar New Year? 

And, do you know why the Chinese like to decorate their homes, dressed in scarlet red and give out red packets during this festive season?

RedPacket

If you want to learn more about the Chinese customs, you can check here https://www.travelchinaguide.com/essential/holidays/new-year/customs.html.

To learn about other festivals around the world, you can also subscribe to TCG’s Youth’s Cross Cultural Competency course https://www.transculturalgroup.com/youth-young-adults-pricing/

If you are celebrating this Lunar New Year, have a joyful reunion and a great celebration! 

If you are not from this cultural cluster, you can still learn about this festival and its customs from your friends who celebrate it. Have fun!

Gong Xi Fatt Choi! 

新春快乐