年年有魚 – Nian Nian You Yu

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My favourite Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year greeting is Nian Nian You Yu – 年年有餘 – which means something like, ‘may every year end with ample surplus’ or ‘plenty to spare year after year’ or ‘may you have more than you need, every year’.

Chinese is a language of word-play, and yú (meaning surplus) sounds like yú (meaning fish).

I prefer to think of it as – 年年有魚 – may every year be full of fish, and may there be enough fish for all. Reminding us that fish are linked to livelihood and survival, and that we are linked to water and land, and that we are thankful.

The piece above has the Chinese character for fish, and Inuktituut syllabics for iqaluit, the plural of fish. It was printed in Panniqtuuq, Nunavut, and assembled in Vancouver, BC.

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