Taipei: There are songs you must have heard at supermarkets or along any busy street in Taiwan, and while you might know that they’re about Lunar New Year, did you know they’ve been there for 70 years?
The oldest and the most popular of all is the Gong Xi Gong Xi song. Every Taiwanese can recite the first line- on every road and every alley, from every mouth, the first greetings when you meet, that is Gong Xi Gong Xi.
Gong Xi Gong Xi is the transliteration of congratulations in Mandarin Chinese, a blessing people sent to everyone during Lunar New Year.
While the song is now used for celebrations, its original version carried complicated sentiments of sorrow and happiness.
It was composed by Chen Gexin in 1946 at the end of the Japanese colonial period at the end of the Second World War.
Chen was detained for three months before the Japanese were defeated, and he made Gong Xi Gong Xi both to celebrate the first lunar new year after the victory and as a memorial to the soldiers and people who died fighting the war.
Other renowned pieces include Ho Xin Nian greetings to the new year in 1948; Ying Xin Chun, welcoming new spring in 1950 and Tsai Shen Dao. — China Post/Asia News Network
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