Fish (渔yú) have been a frequently used symbol for good fortune for centuries. This is because 余yú means ?surplus; abundance? and so a picture of a fish is a wish for prosperity. They are often eaten at Chinese New Year partly as a symbol for a wish for abundance in the coming year.
One of China's most important exports was the respect for scholarship and learning. China was the first nation to appoint on basis of academic merit. Strict Imperial examinations were set up two thousand years ago and were the passport to a quieter life with a steady income.
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