936 Chinese New Year

Santi talks about the biggest holiday in many Asian Nations.


Todd: So what exactly is Chinese New Year?

Santi: We celebrate once a year and it's just like the same as a New Year in Western countries, but we celebrate in ... like special ... different dates every year.

Todd: So it's a flexible calendar?

Santi: Yes. My grandmother knows it but I don't. And especially for dinner we have a special arrangement in the table, like seven ... well, seven is a lucky number so seven types of dishes and then we got like money from our elders.

Todd: You get money?

Santi: Yes, we get money but we don't get presents. We get money.

Todd: So when you get this money, what do you normally do with it? Like do they give you money and are you supposed to, like buy gifts, or are you supposed to put it away for savings?

Santi: I think they want us to just save the money in case like for rainy days and then ... but most of my cousins just spend it for buying things like clothes, bags, shoes, but in my family it's kind of different, so whenever I get money I just give it to my mother.

Todd: For your mom to keep for herself or for your mom to save for you?

Santi: I don't know. I'm not very good at money so it's better for me to just give it to my mother and she will allocate it.

Todd: Well, actually, I think that's also a Chinese tradional also in the United States where I think that Chinese families, isn't it custom for children actually to give their parents a portion of their money?

Santi: Yes

Todd: Which is actually, I think makes a lot of sense.

Santi: Well, because we trust our mother. We trust our parents beyond reason sometimes and I think it's good.

Todd: So always give a little money up?

Santi: Yes.

Todd: I agree. I agree. Although I hope my mom's not listening. She's gonna expect some money from me.

Santi: And I feel better whenever my mom just gives me money to spend it ... not my ... just my entire money and then I spend it. I feel awful.

Todd: Oh, cause you feel like you've contributed some as well.

Santi: Yes.

Todd: Good point.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


For dinner we have a special arrangement in the table.

When people or things are put in special order or position, it is called an arrangement.  Notice the following:

  • The seating arrangment in class is a half circle.
  • There is a beautiful flower arrangement on the table.


We got like money from our elders.

Elders are older people such as our grand parents. Notice the following:

  • It is important to respect your elders.
  • I often get advice from the elders in my family.

for a rainy day

They want us to save money for a rainy day.

The phrase 'a rainy day' means a bad time when we need help.  Notice the following:

  • He is saving some money for a rainy day.
  • I am keeping some cash for a rainy day.


They give the money to my mother and she allocates it.

'Allocate' means to give time, money, or things to one or more people or activities.  Notice the following:

  • Blankets and food were allocated to the homeless people.
  • She usually allocates some of her free time for charity causes.


She's gonna expect some money from me.

When we expect something that means we think or believe it will happen. Notice the following:

  • The weatherman expects it to rain tomorrow.
  • Our teacher expects us to do well on the test.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
arrnagement • elders • for a rainy day
allocate • expect
  1. I I will get a birthday card from my mom .
  2. He is saving his money .
  3. We need to funds to the project.
  4. He is very nice to his .
  5. The seating puts people of the same age together.