Year Of Fire Monkey: What it Means

Haiyan Li is excited about February 8. Chinese will celebrate the Chinese New Year. Mrs Li is a Mandarin lecturer at the Confucius Institute here at the Unversity of the
29 Jan 2016 09:39
Year Of Fire Monkey: What it Means
Confucius Institute lecturer Haiyan Li.

Haiyan Li is excited about February 8.

Chinese will celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Mrs Li is a Mandarin lecturer at the Confucius Institute here at the Unversity of the South Pacific. As a child growing up in her home city of Beijing, she shares fond memories of her New Years.

She is 48-years-old and married to the director for Confucius Institute Professor Denggui Li.

Their only child graduated last year from International School Suva.

Continuing our series on the Chinese New Year, here is Mrs Li’s take on the event.


What is your Chinese New Year wish?

I wish USP and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, my home university, another successful year.

I wish all my family members, friends and colleagues, a productive, healthy and wonderful year.

I wish to learn all I can about Fiji and its people and contribute to promote Chinese language and culture to the local people.


What does the Chinese New Year mean to you?

Chinese New Year is also called The Spring Festival. We celebrate it because among the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter; spring symbolises a new starting with everything waking up from sleep. So 2016 means a new start and opportunity to improve myself to me.


What are your goals for the Year of the Fire Monkey?

My goals are to be happy, active and healthy and to put more energy and effort in my work.


What’s the most interesting thing about you and your culture?

The most interesting thing for me is working in Fiji. It is a country with a completely different culture from China. I am interested in Chinese ink painting and hand creation works.


How did you celebrate the Chinese New Year as a child?

At that time, all family members sat together to make dumplings and enjoy a fancy meal.

I used to help my mother clean the house to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Dishes such as chicken, fish and bean curd were included. I had my best new clothes on and visited the relatives and friends giving best wishes to them.


What traditions do you still keep, and how do you celebrate Chinese New Year today?

Traditions such as making dumplings, having a family New Year Eve dinner, cleaning the house, giving best wishes to family members, friends and relatives and have new clothes are traditions still kept.


How will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?

I will spend New Year’s Eve with my family, Chinese people and local colleagues who work at the Confucius Institute to have a big dinner together. I will also participate in activities organised by the Chinese community here in Fiji.


What animal Zodiac sign were you born under, and do you think there are similarities between you and your animal sign?

I was born in the Year of the Snake. The features of a snake are that they are very smart, creative and they like to do something challenging.

According to the Bible the snake is not a good symbol. It is a bit cunning. Some Chinese people think that if you mention a snake, it is poisonous.

It’s a symbol of waiting for an opportunity to do something challenging and new. The sign was given to me by my parents.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa



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