The Chinese New Year, which lasts for two weeks, is upon us and many Chinese families will be wishing each other health, wealth and prosperity for the year ahead.
One way to send good wishes would be to bundle gifts in hampers, all red and bountiful. I love the wicker baskets from Fortnum and Mason, possibly the finest purveyor of luxury hampers in London, but it is also fun to have a sneak peek at what is inside a hamper when you receive one.
Sometimes, though, underneath the packaging the gifts can be disappointing. As we say, all glitter and no substance.
So for my friends and family, on top of wishing them health, wealth and prosperity (without which, of course, there can be no access to and enjoyment of all those Fortnum goodies) I should like to wish them a whole bucketful of wisdom.
On the flight over from London to Kuala Lumpur I watched the Korean film Parasite 기생충 for the second time and the line that struck me was when one of the main characters said that money irons out creases. He said that the difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich have no creases in their life.
I think that this is largely true: from your clothes to your face to your problems, money does indeed have the ability to smooth things out.
But unless we have the wisdom to root out all our idols and to align our heart’s desires to the vision and desires that God has for us, then like eponymous portrait the in the Picture of Dorian Gray, our inside or soul will continue to crease, fold, crumple and ultimately crush us.
It is not possible to sustain an externally perfect life when our moral insides are rotting. This is the insight I gained from watching Parasite. I won’t tell you the story as it is a highly enjoyable film and one that I thoroughly recommend.
Since we are discussing a creaseless life, I want to say that one of my favourite things is new banknotes. I simply love the crispness of the paper when filling red packets to hand out for the new year. Even when it is not the new year, if appropriate, this is still my preferred method of gifting.
Mr Gochugaru and I are now back in London, preparing for our annual Yee Sang dinner tomorrow night. The children are joining us, along with our friends’ children. They are all half our age or younger, which translates to: cook more food, don’t stress on the cleaning and make sure there is champagne chilling in the fridge.
All that is left is for us to wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year and a year ahead full of all good things and especially of wisdom.
Here are photos of new year decorations taken last week in Kuala Lumpur