Forum: Preparing hongbao a cherished tradition

One of the most vivid memories from my childhood is helping my mother slip coins into hongbao on the eve of Chinese New Year.

It was an annual experience I cherished, and I carried on the practice with my own children.

This may come to an end with the rising popularity of e-hongbao, and future generations will not experience the pleasure of smelling newly minted cash or feeling the crisp notes from hongbao printed with auspicious wording (MAS encourages Singaporeans to opt for e-hongbao this CNY, Jan 12).

I guess traditions must evolve to be safer and more environmentally friendly, and so the impersonal interbank transfer of money with a few choice words displayed on a screen to signify love, care, appreciation, good wishes and filial piety is inevitable.

With the tradition of exchanging cash hongbao evolving and the lighting of firecrackers but a distant memory, there is only the important family reunion meal to cling to.

We all need to keep up our guard against Covid-19 to make sure even this is not taken away from us.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

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