With New Year’s just around the corner, the next celebration that’s on everyone’s minds is Chinese New Year. As kids, most of us would look forward to this festive holiday because of all the ang pow (red envelopes) we’d be able to collect from visiting relatives. When you’re an adult however, it’s a different story.
Recently, a netizen shared his own personal experience of why he started to dread Chinese New Year every year:
“I used to be happy when I received a red envelope as a kid. I didn’t understand the pressure until I grew up and it was my turn to give red envelopes.”
The Facebook user went on to share his struggle of deciding what a “polite” amount to give was and the fear of not being able to afford giving out red envelopes to everybody.
According to Moretify, he recalled a time last year where he did not dare go home to visit his family as his business was doing badly and he was too poor to give out red envelopes. But to his surprise, his family’s response was not what he expected.
“My mother called to ask why I didn’t go home for Chinese New Year. I said my pockets are a little tight right now. I couldn’t even give red envelopes to my own children. My mother said, it doesn’t matter if you have money or not, the most important thing is that your whole family is healthy.”
“My brother also called to ask why I didn’t come home for the New Year. I said I didn’t have money. He asked how much money can your family can spend? I will help you if you have no money!”
Even the netizen’s wife and kids understood his burdensome financial situation.
“My wife said as long as you are willing to work hard, the situation will get better. My children are also very sensible. They stayed home obediently, knowing that it’s not easy on us parents.”
Eventually deciding to go home, the netizen said his brother offered to give him some money.
The netizen was so moved by his gesture that “he wiped tears when no one was looking”. He also said that his “mom cooked an extra round of reunion dinner, which made all of us stuffed.”
The user ended his post by saying that the celebration of Chinese New Year isn’t about comparing who earns more money, who gets A’s on exams or who can buy the most expensive car or building. It’s about the family coming together to encourage each other with warmth and support.
Since posting, the post has gone viral with over 824 comments and 1,200 reactions. Many netizens seemed to relate to the man’s struggles and flooded the comments section with their own experiences of being too ashamed to go home because they had no money to give out red envelopes.
“When I grow up, I understand the pressure of the saying, “I can’t even afford RM 1 red envelopes.”
Others said the real meaning behind the red envelope is lost in this day and age. “Isn’t the red envelope just a symbol of blessing? Why has it become like this today?”
Regardless of what amount you put into your red envelopes this year, remember that sometimes, all your family wants is to sit down and have a meal with you to celebrate this festive occasion.
Have you guys every experienced anything like this? Let us know in the comments below.
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