Stuck with small talk this Chinese New Year or don’t know what auspicious words to greet your host?
This week’s Mandarin on Mondays, I’d like to introduce auspicious words and symbols.
My favourite red packet envelope in order.
The Dog is considered a lucky animal by Chinese. A stray dog wandering into one’s home symbolise fortune is coming.
A dog’s bark symbolise fortune coming. How do dogs bark in your culture? Chinese dogs bark “wang wang” 旺旺 – same sound as fortune coming.
Wish you prosperity during Year of Dog. 祝你狗年旺旺旺。
2. Seletar Aerospace Park
Anything bound for flight. Flying birds, aeroplanes.
Wish you promotion.
祝你 – 飞黄腾达
步步高升 (bù bù gāo shēng): May you rise steadily (at work).
平步青云 (píng bù qīng yún): May you rise rapidly in the world (social status or career).
3. Sun Yatsen Museum
Bat (蝙蝠 – biānfú) – longevity, happiness, good luck (the Chinese word for bat, “蝠” (fú) sounds like the word for good fortune
Here, there are Five Blessings, bat, cloud, pomegranate, peony (a long life, riches, health, love of virtue and a natural death). 五福临门。
4. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Which has a fabulous collection of crabs.
螃蟹 pangxie – Crab symbolise promotion in social status because crabs like to crawl. Shell of Crab 甲 jia represents being top in exams. Xie sounds like harmony 协 xie as in 合心协力.
5. Public Utilities Board
With their iconic Water Wally reminding us of the importance of Water. Running Water symbolise wealth.