The many fun, festive, and colorful celebrations that kick off the Year of the Tiger have now concluded. We wanted to share all the unique ways our own Vanguard team members and their families rang in the Chinese New Year this year.
Jensen Chou, Vanguard Country Manager – Taiwan
As we all know, Tiger is the King in the Asian jungle, just like the Lion is in the African grassland. The Tiger is a symbol of power, bravery, awesomeness, prosperity, and health. When Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Years we greet one another, uttering lucky words upon face-meeting, and raising hands to one another, with fists wrapped up. The most frequent saying in Chinese during this auspicious time is KONG XI FA CAI, meaning Wishing You a Prosperous Year by making lots of fortune. There are spoken and written slogans that feature the Year of Tiger, like 虎虎生風 which translates to “being energetic like a Tiger”, 如虎添翼, “being even more fearless like a Tiger with wings”, 龍騰虎躍 “a Dragon soaring up and a Tiger leaping out.”.
Chinese New Year is in a way similar to Christmas in North America. This is always time for family gatherings. On Chinese New Year’s Eve the whole family comes home irrespective of how far away people reside and we will have a big feast around the dinner table. This is often the most delicious meal of the year and I still have vivid memories of how I enjoyed it as a child.
The main differentiator in comparison to Christmas is the presentation of traditional Red Envelopes after the meal – which of course contains money. It is the senior people that presents the Red Envelopes to the junior people, like parents to children.
Nowadays the celebration of Chinese New Year in Taiwan is not exactly the same as it was during my childhood. The year-end family dinner was usually held at home and prepared by mother alone. That has since changed, as it is very challenging for one mother to do it all alone. In its place you usually see takeaway orders or families having their year-end dinner at a restaurant. With our current global situation, we no longer see Lion dancing on the streets, or fire crackers, or many in-person visits from family far way. However, we do see a tremendous flow of Chinese New Year greetings through various social media channels. It is a good reminder that time is always changing, and we have to adjust, like it or not.
Timothy Li, Vanguard Manager – Shanghai
Chinese New Year is my busiest time of the year because it is our season for Chilean Cherries and Peruvian Grapes sales in China. I spend most of my holiday visiting our retailers, our wholesalers on the markets, and meeting with customers. As the produce industry is part of my life, I enjoy meeting with customers just like seeing old friends. They always invite me to join their New Year lunch and dinner celebrations. In addition, many of our teammates visit China during the holiday period, so I like to host them while they are visiting our markets and customers.
Everyone is very warm and inviting. Most customers treat me like one of their family members. They invite me to join their home-cooked lunches or dinners with their family.
Traditionally for Chinese New Years, I will go back to Hong Kong to see my father and sisters. Due to the Covid quarantine policy the last two years, unfortunately I haven’t been able to go back to Hong Kong for the past two years. In place of in-person visits, I video chat with my family, and look forward to celebrating with them again soon.
I will also go to my wife Lulu’s hometown – Hernan Province during Chinese New Year at some point. It is such a nice change from the modern big city of Shanghai. All our family members like to gather and play card games. I can see the snow in Hernan and that enhances the atmosphere of the Chinese New Year celebrations even more.
Yuyuh Sukmana, Vanguard Manager –Indonesia
In Jakarta, Indonesia we celebrate with the three F’s – friends, family, and food. All things we’ve missed greatly during these past Covid years. We look forward to being able to celebrate the Lunar New Year together in big groups again soon. Here is a look of some of our celebrations from past Chinese New Year gatherings.
Every day is different at Vanguard; with new growers joining our community, new crops and fresh varieties being introduced, and new markets opening. Keep up to date with what’s happening in our expanding world.