Because I am writing this blog after the fact, I thought I would begin by stating how helpful it was to hear a presentation from someone who experiences this cultural practice first hand. For one of my other classes, we have actually been researching the Chinese culture quite a bit, but what we had been lacking was this person to person interaction, so this was not only helpful for my understanding of the red envelope, but of their culture as a whole.
For example, we had been debating colors for a while, and her comment on how red symbolizes luckiness among other things, it cleared the entire debate up.
In terms of researching the red envelope practice, my first step is always Google. Google Google and more Google. I try to read as much as I can from as many credible sources as possible in order to gain a much of an understanding as possible on the topic. Video, from YouTube is also so helpful because sometimes there are first hand accounts already on there and people talking about the tradition.
I would then go on a hunt for periodicals and other articles that delved more scientifically into the topic in order to examine the practice deeper. For example, I would look for ethnographic research in order to pad the information I had found on Google.
I would then do exactly what you helped us do, which is bring in a first hand account in order to see if what I had learned through my own research actually panned out in real life. This, I feel, is the most credible of information. There are always so many myths and lies about different culture’s practices so when one just simply goes to the source, we can usually come out with golden information.