I have returned home to Singapore this festive period to spend time with family. Soaking in the Chinese New Year festivities is always great, and as I age, the more important I find it is to spend time with family. I think this transcends both East and West.
Maybe a personal first step to bridge this divide will be to take some time off calling it the Chinese New Year, even though that is what I was brought up with and have come to know for decades (maybe it is just a Singapore thing). Lunar New Year, or the misnomer of the Spring Festival (it really is winter in China right now, but of course it comes with a stronger cultural meaning than a meteorological one ) so it means something for everyone across the board.
Happy Spring Festival one and all!
“To win is not difficult at all, but to keep winning is very difficult.” Chinese President Hu Jintao
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State leaders extend Spring Festival greetings to nation
Source – China Daily, 13 Feb 2010
Chinese President Hu Jintao presides over a gathering in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 12, 2010. [Photo/Xinhua
BEIJING: Chinese leaders offered their Spring Festival greetings to people across the nation Friday at a gathering to mark the new Lunar New Year.
President Hu Jintao chaired the gathering of more than 4,000 people from various sectors of society.
On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, Hu, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, conveyed festive greetings to all Chinese people and thanks to China’s friends around the world.
Premier Wen Jiabao, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a speech.
The past year was an “extraordinary and uplifting” year for China, in which, facing an unprecedented international financial crisis, the country took resolute measures with confidence and calmness, promptly reversing the downward economic trend and taking the lead in the global economic recovery, Wen said.
He said people celebrated the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China last year, and “the nation’s glorious achievements have greatly inspired people’s self-confidence and pride, enhanced the cohesion of the Chinese people, and boosted the country’s international prestige and influence.”
“To win is not difficult at all, but to keep winning is very difficult,” he said, adding that persistence is the basis of victory.
In 2010, China will face a more complicated situation, both at home and abroad, the Premier said, calling for all to “keep a sober mind and an enhanced sense of anxiety about lagging behind.”
Priority should be given to “persistence in taking economic development as the central task, forcefully promoting reform and opening up, transforming the growth pattern, accelerating the economic structure adjustment, and doing a better job responding to the international financial crisis, in order to keep steady and relatively fast economic development,” he said.
“All the things we do are aimed at letting people live more happily with more dignity,” he said.
“We are going to work harder during the new year to effectively solve the problems concerning people’s livelihood, try hard to create more job opportunities, and continue to enhance the income level of rural and urban residents, in order to let people do their best in their proper place,” he said.
Efforts should be made to improve the social security system to ensure all people enjoy their rights to medical- and aged care, and housing, he said.
Wen said the government should forcefully develop education in order to promote educational equity, boosting its quality and granting each child access to schooling.
Other leaders, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang, also attended the gathering.
Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important traditional Chinese festival and an occasion for family reunions. It falls on February 14 this year.
Filed under: China Daily, Culture, Spring Festival