Is my handmade red packet okay? Foreigner wows Singaporeans with CNY gift for friend's son

Reddit/Lividviv

A thoughtful gesture goes a long way, especially for a friend who's away from home during the festive season.

This Chinese New Year, an artist in Germany will warm the heart of her Singaporean friend with her gift — a handmade red packet for the latter's nine-year-old son.

Lividviv went on the Singapore subreddit on Monday (Jan 17) to ask for feedback on the ang bao that she made, writing: "I'm not Chinese and want this to be nice (for the recipient). Your advice is welcome!".

Redditors were impressed by the effort that she put into the project, with some praising her for handwriting the Chinese characters in the new year greeting on the red packet.

Others chimed in with advice such as avoiding elements that the Chinese deem inauspicious. An example is the number four, which is nearly homophonous with the word for death in the Chinese language.

And being Singaporeans, some cheeky Reddit users had to point out that the contents of the red packet are just as important as the red packet.

When asked why she was making a personalised gift, Lividviv told AsiaOne: "My friend is really sad not to be in Singapore for Chinese New Year. There are only online celebrations this year because of Covid-19 where we live."

Her friend's son will miss receiving his red packets, she said.

So, the artist planned to surprise the boy with a handmade ang bao. She spent a few hours reading up on Chinese New Year, looking at examples of red packets as well as learning about the symbolism and the right amount of money to put inside.

"The card itself took maybe two hours. The hardest part was tracing the brush lettering," she shared.

Besides the surprise, Lividviv and her Singaporean friend have made plans to celebrate the festive occasion by cooking a Chinese dinner together with their families.

"It doesn’t replace going from house to house meeting family and friends, and the other things she misses, but it’s what I can do," she said.

ALSO READ: 9 kid-friendly CNY decoration ideas

amierul@asiaone.com