In a nation where poverty was a recent and widespread experience, the ideas of wealth and ‘having enough’ are important. Its a concept that’s reflected in the use of old coins as ornaments on everyday objects.
Did you know? Since the first Indiana Jones movie was released more than HALF A BILLION people in China have been lifted out of poverty (according to World Bank standards). This is unmatched in the history of human development.
Our wealth box includes Narcissus tea 水仙茶 [shuǐ xiān chá]. This tea comes in a smaller quantity than many of the teas featured in our boxes but it is one of the higher quality teas. It’s also one of China’s more mellow teas.
It should be brewed just under boiling temperature (about 200f) for 1-2minutes. Add a generous pinch to your re-usable tea infusing bag, add hot water and leave to brew for 3-4 minutes. The same tea leaves can be re-brewed several times.
This type of tea is also popular as a cold brew. Add a generous pinch to a pitcher, add water and leave in the fridge for 8-12hours before serving. If you’re looking to make a large batch at once, a good rule of thumb is around 1g of tea for 150ml of water.
For more details on how to brew different types of Chinese tea, see our simple guide:
Reusable Red Envelopes
Red envelopes are commonly given throughout the year – most significantly at Lunar New Year, but also for birthdays, weddings and even when a family member is injured or spends time in hospital.
These higher-quality red envelopes can be reused or are given on more important occasions, for example, a close friend’s wedding.
You can read more about when and how to give red envelopes in a culturally appropriate way here:
Chinese ‘play’ money
This play version of Chinese currency is often used here to help children improve their practical math skills but is also a fun and inexpensive way to introduce our children to Chinese currency.
Currency in the mainland is called 人民币 ren min bi – literally the ‘currency of the people’. Smaller amounts feature the Chinese ethnicities.
In Spring 2021: 100 renminbi is roughly $15US, 50 is about $7.50, 20 is $3, 10 is $1.50 and 5 is about 75c.
元 [yuan] is the equivalent of the word ‘dollar’ although more commonly people use the word 块 [kuai] which literally means ‘piece’ but is like saying ‘bucks’.
Wealth-related decorative items
All around China, decorative items with images that resemble ancient coins are really common.
Ancient Chinese coins date back as early as 350BC. The decorative coins often have blessings on them, for example a phrase often seen on coins translates ‘May the way of wealth [treasure] be open to you’.
Another item featuring a decorative ancient coin included in your Wealth box is this 16GB memory stick. We think this might be the perfect keepsake for storing photos from China or adoption documents on!
Like the ancient coins, the piggy bank is both a decorative item and and blessing for peace and wealth.
Chubby pigs are the PERFECT metaphor image for gradually building a fortune. Village pigs are fed a little every day to be eaten on spring festival. Pigs eat anything, so pigs are a reasonably cheap animal to raise which means pork is a staple meat in China. Like the pig fattened up for a festival meal, piggy banks only have one entrance and have to be smashed to get the savings.
We hope you love exploring all of the items in this box. Feel free to message if you have any questions about this Standard Box!