What Does Your Ang Pow Say About You?

I don’t usually feel ‘old’. And even when people tell me things like “I know it’s not right to ask a woman about her age, so I won’t ask”, I say “No, it’s perfectly fine. I’m 28! :D” (And that’s my real age too – I’m not like some women who like to say they are “always sixteen” or eighteen or insert-some-other-ridiculous-figure.

But when I see how my cousin‘s son (aka my *ahem* nephew) is already in NS, hmm, yes I kind of suspect I might be ‘older’ than I think / feel. 😀

And just so you know why this blogpost was put together, I was reading the book ‘The Reputation Economy’ during my CNY visiting yesterday. As usual, my family got to the eldest aunt’s place earlier than anyone else. I get my ‘punctuality streak’ from my Dad, I tell you. And since the book is a lot about predicting one’s behavior and trying to ‘make some meaning’ out of what people do, I thought I shall open all the ang pows I received yesterday (from my relatives) and see if there are any obvious trends.

[*This blogpost is meant to be all tongue-in-cheek good humor. Because it involves $$$, I KNOW some people may get all sensitive. So, if you don’t appreciate my humor, stop reading now and go juggle some mandarin oranges, or whatever else you want to do. :P]

Almost #SG50ShadesOfRed:

ang pow singapore

I received 15 ang pows; 2 were from my parents – I’m taking those out of this ‘study’.

And while I’d thought that people would have stopped giving out 4 dollar ang pows, I’m wrong. Of the 13 remaining ang pows, 6 contained 4 bucks each:

ang pow singapore

Interestingly enough, the only 2 DBS ang pows I received are in this 4-dollar category, together with 1 from TNT, one from StanChart, 1 from Sheng Siong and 1 from OCBC.

Do the places you shop at and bank with have a correlation with how much money you’ll put into ang pows?

The 4-Dollar Ang Pow says “What? Cannot put 4 dollars only?! :P”

*Important Note: I don’t really mind the amount of money in an ang pow. I pay more attention to the person giving out the ang pow. Some of my relatives keep a straight face, say nothing, and just hold out an ang pow to me.

I don’t say ‘no’ to money gotten through legal means. Despite the (obvious) lack of any kind of blessing, I’ll just take the ang pow. Why not, right? Even if I’m 30, if you give me an ang pow, I’ll take it. I’ll just give your kids ‘bigger’ ang pows after I get married, so no need for that obviously black face ok?

And there were those 6 dollar ones. Just two red packets. 1 from UOB and 1 from SPC.

ang pow

The 6-Dollar Ang Pow says “I’m not kiam siap enough to put just 4 bucks but 8 is too much. Compromise. 6 is just nice.”

And yes, despite how some people might say the number ‘4’ is not auspicious or whatever, I think it is fine lah.

People who give 6-dollar ang pows probably have a tough time in trying to take the middle road as much as possible.

And then there are those who give me 10-dollar ang pows…

ang pow

These people also bank with StanChart and UOB and are customers of Caltex and Union Gas. I obviously don’t have enough ang pows to say I have a significant sample size. But this is just for fun ya?

The 10-Dollar Ang Pow in 10-dollar denomination says “Aren’t you lucky I’m so generous?”

The 10-Dollar Ang Pow in 2-dollar denomination says “Ha! You thought it’s another of those 4-dollar ang pows, right?! But it’s not 4, it’s not 6, and it’s not 8 either! It’s a perfect 10!” 

[In other words, these 10-dollar ang pow in 2-dollar denomination givers like to make your heart skip a beat. These cheeky fellas have a good sense of humor]

And I received just ONE 12-dollar ang pow, with my name on it as usual. Well, if you give out an ang pow that has the words “Infinity” and “Treasures” on it, you get people’s hopes up.

The 12-Dollar Ang Pow says “I don’t disappoint.”

ang pow

Some might ask me why I’m still accepting ang pows at the grand old age of… 28?! Firstly, I don’t say ‘no’ to money derived from legal means. Even if I find 10-cents on the ground, I pick it up. Learnt this from Warren Buffett. (And all that one-refusing-and-the-other-insisting nonsense is just that – nonsense)

And secondly, I gave my Dad a decent sum of money before CNY, so he could get them changed into smaller denominations for ang pows that he’d give out to our relatives. So, if my Dad gave your kid an ang pow (with money I gave to him), I see nothing wrong with taking an ang pow from you too. 😀 It’s the same with those mandarin oranges, right? Just a way to exchange blessings.

In previous years, I used to give my Dad all the ang pow money I’d collected from my relatives too. Because he’s been a retiree for a while, with no obvious active or passive income streams, I did not feel it is right for him to have such a huge ‘expenditure’ every year at Chinese New Year. Some people have 3 kids, you know?

So yes, I’d take all the money out of the ang pows and give them to my Dad. I ‘collect’ the blessings (intangible) and give him the cash.

This year, I thought I’d take it one step further and give him a decent sum upfront, and after deducting the ang pow money he gives out, he can keep the rest. And I’ll keep this stack of *ahem* two dollar notes.

And if you are wondering how much money I’ll put into ang pow packets in future, after I get married…

I’m not telling. But anyone above the age of 12 will get an ang pow like this one:

Durex ang pow