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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 10:26 GMT
China's new little rich
Child in Shanghai
Parents fear their little angels are becoming grasping
The little red packets of money that Chinese children receive at the lunar New Year are creating familial tension, the China Daily has reported.

Instead of handing the money over to parents for safe-keeping, as they used to, today's children are keeping it for themselves, the paper said.

It reported that one four-year-old boy hid 700 yuan ($84.50) in his pillow.

The lunar New Year, which heralds the Year of the Monkey, began on 22 January.

The paper said that another parent was annoyed by the attitude of her 13-year-old daughter.

Shen Xinping from the central city of Chengdu said her daughter Jiajia has refused to lend her money in view of her "poor credit record'.

"Jiajia said she could only lend me her Lunar New Year money gifts this time after I pay back her gifts from last year,'' she said.

But Jiajia told the paper that she needed the money to socialise with her classmates. "Otherwise, I shall be disgraced,'' she said.

The China Daily said that as a result, some parents were planning to persuade their children to turn down the gifts.

But Meng Xuemei, a professor with the Chengdu-based Sichuan Normal University, said the tradition of money-giving gave children the chance to learn about finance.

"There are many successful examples where parents have helped their children make good use of the money, while maintaining a good parent-child relationship,'' she said.

Asia welcomes Year of Monkey
22 Jan 04  |  Asia-Pacific
In Pictures: Lunar New Year festivities
20 Jan 04  |  Photo Gallery


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