is chinese culture all about money? seems so. look at how we say happy new year (gong shi fa tchai). the word "happy" isn't even in there, but "prosperity" (fa tchai) is. maybe because to the chinese, the only happiness is money.
look at the new year's trips to the temples to pray to the money god (and look at how they drive getting there.. yes they'd sooner kill YOU than be a minute late). look at how chinese people spend the holiday (playing majong with relatives- for money, against their own kin)!
look at the requirements to give money, from their own relatives!
this year i made a decision: i REFUSE to say "gong shi fa tchai" TO ANYONE. instead i say "shin nian yu kwai" or just "happy new year" in english. because happiness- true,deep down happiness- is one thing the chinese people really lack.
happy new year to you. may you be rich in wonderful experiences,in new friends, and in love shared.