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2012--Enter the Dragon

CompanyDanielle Samaniego, Gap Inc. BloggerComment

Happy Dragon Year, everyone!

No, this isn’t something I say often. But it’s on my mind because it’s the tagline splashed in our Gap store windows in China, as this week marks the start of the Year of the Dragon.

In our stores and windows, Chinese customers won’t miss the red placards (“Happy Dragon Year”) that acknowledge this significant holiday in their culture. It’s a little way of expressing how Gap shows up differently in other parts of the world.

To get a better sense of the personal connection Chinese feel to their New Year festivities, I share this thought from Laura Chou, who works in our Europe Outlet division in San Francisco:

“The Chinese New Year always brings me back to my childhood growing up in Taiwan. On the actual day, us kids would dress in new clothes (usually with hints of red as a sign of good luck and prosperity), and we’d wait anxiously to ‘kotow’ towards our elders (a custom of kneeling and touching our heads to the ground to show respect).  In return, we’d receive red envelopes stuffed with money as a gesture for more prosperity in the upcoming year. 

“Those celebrations always included extended family gatherings at my grandfather’s ‘siheyuan’ (a traditional Chinese residence of a courtyard surrounded by four buildings), with my cousins and I playing games in the courtyard.  We were raving bandits and firecracker daredevils, which involved staying as close to the firecrackers before they launched and not flinching – talk about a serious game of chicken! Happy Dragon Year!”