Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lucky Money!

Perhaps nobody extolled the virtues of relaxation better than physicist Fritjof Capra, who said “During periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and delight.”   What??  I think that means - ya need to take a break from work now and then and have some fun!!  Could there be a better reason to draw a bath, turn on your steam shower, or make an appointment at your neighborhood spa??

Well that is what I thought - so I visited one of my favorite nail salons in a nearby city.  Sometimes it is just nice to be spontaneous and not have to have an appointment.  So . . . I apologize to the home town salons - who require call ahead scheduling -  but this was a "me" day and I'm worth it! :)

And the things you learn at the beauty parlor . . . 

The owners of my favorite clean and tidy spa with the little pink butterfly chairs for little girls turns, are Vietnamese men.  They are great guys - very friendly and fun and very good at their job.  Usually I'm not there for conversation but instead to close my eyes and soak up the spoilin' - but today I got involved and learned some fun things about another place and time!

Did you know that today Sunday, Feb. 10th begins the Vietnamese New Year? 
I learned that the people spend days cleaning their homes and polishing utensils, repainting and decorating to get ready.   They don't celebrate Christmas or New Years as we in the USA do but their New Year is important to them.  It is desired to have all of your debts paid before the new year comes in and to resolve all arguments amongst friends and family.  Then they can hope to have a great next year!

I asked them what they do to celebrate and they laughed and shared that they mostly eat good food and gamble with "lucky money"!  I also learned that the young kids receive more lucky money than the older folks do!    My salon friend named Long laughs that as a kid he could get 200.00 lucky money - but now that he is grown up - not so much money he said.   Lucky money was given to the children in little red envelopes . . . 

The convention of giving “li xi” has its roots in the folklore about the ogre called Tuy. Once upon a time, living in a huge peach blossom tree in the East Sea were all evil spirits on Earth. While being kept inside the tree and controlled by deities, they always tried to escape and harm people. However, on New Year’s Eve, as the deities had to gather together at the Heavens, Tuy would appear, rubbing small children’s heads to make them burst into loud wails and get high fever. Thus, the whole family had to stay awake all night to protect the children from the ogre.
However, some Deities while once stopping by a village had turned themselves into gold coins. Parents covered those coins in red cloth and placed under a child’s pillow. Later, when Tuy came, the coins sparkled and drove it away. Good news quickly spread out all over the country, and from that time on, Vietnamese have had the tradition of giving small children lucky money in red envelopes on the first day of Lunar New Year.

Well - Traditions are important - and whether I support or believe in other worlds' ways - It is sometimes fun to listen and learn how people are different.    These two men love living in the USA and are very proud to work here - they say when they go home - they are considered "million-aires" as our American money is worth far far more than their Vietnamese money.
Ahh a day at the spa . . . One of my favorite ways to spend my time - and a little education on the side . . . who knew? 

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool. It's amazing the people we can meet and what we learn if we open ourselves up. Its so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves andmiss the people around us.

    Ans ny the way - you are definitely worth pampering!


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