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Crazy lure of hongbao disturbing

China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-26 08:07

Comment on "Hongbao places financial burden on New Year celebrations" (China Daily, Feb 18)

As a foreigner working and living in China, I am surprised each year when I ask younger people what they enjoy most about Chinese Lunar New Year and almost every one says hongbao (red envelope with money).

I think the true meanings of family and reunion are fading fast, overtaken by the lure of getting something. Many youths have it figured out who will give them how much money, subtract from it the cost of their train tickets, and have their gains (or loss) calculated in advance. It seems like another wonderful Chinese traditional concept is being sacrificed on the altar of greed and expectancy.

A close friend underwent a surgery for stomach cancer a couple of months ago and I contributed to the medical cost. But when I told youngsters that I would not give them any hongbao this Spring festival because I'd rather help save a life than put "money" in their hands, they looked dejected. This is very scary.

Roninxian, on China Daily website

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(China Daily 03/26/2013 page9)

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