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First of all, TIP TOP wishes you a Happy and Fulfilling New Year 2016!

The welcoming in of the New Year is something special and it is celebrated in different ways all over the world. In Scotland there is a tradition called “First Footing” where a dark-haired man is welcomed into the house just after midnight (blond men are not popular after the Viking invasions of ancient times!) The “first footer” brings symbolic, lucky gifts: a coin for prosperity, bread and salt representing food, coal for warmth and whisky to toast the New Year.

 

Spanish New Year’s Eve is called Nochevieja (the old night). For the countdown to midnight it is traditional to eat twelve grapes representing twelve wishes for the new year. One grape is swallowed on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers wanted to use up the large production surpluses from that year. Nowadays, the tradition is followed by most Spaniards and is also widespread in Latin American countries. After the clock has finished striking people hug each other saying: “Feliz ano nuevo!”

 

In Japan, New Year’s Eve is used to honour and welcome the Toshigami deity, who are thought to bring a bountiful harvest to farmers and bestow the ancestors’ blessing on everyone. People clean their homes and prepare Kadomatsu, small shrines made of pine and bamboo, near to their doors to welcome the god. At midnight, Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times. The chimes represent the 108 elements of Klesha or Bonnō. These are negative emotions, such as anxiety, ignorance, hatred, jealousy and conceit, which cloud the mind and lead people to take unkind actions. By reminding themselves of these negative influences, the Japanese strive to improve their characters and behaviour for the coming year.

 

Vocabulary

Viking – Wikinger

coin – Münze

prosperity – Reichtum

coal – Kohle

to toast something – anstoßen auf

to swallow – schlucken

grape – Weintraube

on each chime of the clock – bei jedem Glockenschlag der Uhr

surplus – Überschuss

clock strikes – die Uhr schlägt

hug – umarmen

bountiful harvest – reiche Ernte

bestow – verleihen, schenken

ancestors – Vorfahren

shrine – Schrein, Heiligtum

anxiety – Angst, Ängstlichkeit

hatred – Hass

jealousy – Eifersucht

conceit – Arroganz, Einbildung

cloud the mind – den Sinn trüben

strive to – bestrebt sein zu

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Who would you like to be? – Your New Year’s resolution

 

For some of us it might be a horror to think about, or even worse, be asked about OUR RESOLUTION for this year!

Well, we might choose to ignore it, but whether we like it or not, the new year has started! The point is, when we try to accomplish something we’ve never done before – and this often happens with resolutions – we find it difficult to know if what we are doing is correct or on the right track.

So let’s try to reorient your compass

Stop thinking about what you need to do. Focus instead on who you would like to be! For example, you would like to be a better mum or wife. How would you communicate with your children? What would you say if something went wrong? What would be your attitude when you walked through the door each evening after work? What is the first thing you would do on entering the house? How would you address or touch or look at your beloved ones if you were the world’s greatest mum or wife?

Or perhaps your resolution is to improve your business and increase your sales. If you were top in your industry – the number one sales person, what attributes would you have and how would you exemplify them? If you were already the best, how would you talk, shake hands, prepare for a presentation or negotiation? When you arrived at the office, how focused, how disciplined would you be? If you were number one, how would you present yourself? How would you sound on the phone, how would you interact with your colleagues at a conference?

It is much easier to achieve your goal when you look at it through the lens of who you would like to be. Act like the person you are trying to become!

 

So ask yourself: “Who do you need to be, to do what you have to do, to accomplish what you want? Write to us and let us know! We are looking forward to reading your comments!

 

Vocabulary

resolution – Vorsatz

to accomplish – vollenden, erreichen

on the right track – auf dem richtigen Weg

to reorient – neu einstellen, neu richten

attitude – Einstellung

attributes – Eigenschaften

to exemplify – veranschaulichen

to be disciplined – diszipliniert

through the lens of – aus dem Blickwinkel

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