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  • Writer's pictureAjmal Samuel

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen” - Rumi

As the Lunar calendar turns its page to a new dawn, welcoming the vibrant celebrations of the Chinese New Year, it’s a time of reflection, of joy, and of silent promises to the self. In the midst of all the celebrations and age-old traditions, Rumi whispers across the centuries with a message ever so relevant for this festive occasion: “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”


This Chinese New Year, let’s take a moment to explore the profound depths of Rumi's timeless verse and how we might include its meaning into our celebrations and, indeed, our lives.


Unheard Melodies: Perceiving Without Words

Rumi's wisdom urges us to listen to the unspoken, to the messages that are not conveyed through language but are expressed in other countless ways. The New Year is often accompanied by loud fireworks, the laughter of family, and the bustling of busy streets, but beneath this sound lies a quieter, more profound voice.


Consider the silent wishes of elders expressed in their eyes full of stories, the innocent hopes of children in their unbridled joy, and the quiet resignation of a year gone by making way for the new. This voice without words is ever present in the strong embrace of a loved one or in the the warmth of a family meal.


A Time for Inner Reflection

Chinese New Year is a time of outward celebration, but it also heralds an opportunity for inward introspection. Rumi reminds us to listen to our inner voice, to the silent dialogue we hold within ourselves. As we set resolutions and wish for prosperity and happiness, listening deeply to our own aspirations can guide us towards true fulfillment.


It's an invitation to meditate amidst the celebrations, to find a moment of tranquility where we can hear our hearts' true desires and the unvoiced dreams waiting to materialize in the year ahead.


The Dialogue with Nature

As the old year retreats and a new one emerges, we are reminded to listen to nature's cyclical wisdom. There is a rhythm to the seasons, a cadence that speaks of patience and the promise of renewal. The subtle growth of plants, the silent bloom of flowers, and the quiet transition from winter to spring all signal the natural world's participation in the turning of the year, without uttering a single word.


Embodying the Silent Voice in Tradition

The Chinese New Year traditions, rich in symbolism and silent in their histories, echo the sentiments that Rumi conveys. The color red, ubiquitous during the festivities, whispers of prosperity and good fortune without a sound, while the exchange of red envelopes shows blessings and well-wishes silently conveyed through gesture.


Communing without Words

The most poignant of gatherings are often those where understanding transcends speech. As families come together, the power of presence generates a dialogue that words cannot encapsulate. There is a knowing in shared smiles, a comfort in shared spaces, and an unsaid promise to support each other in the year that lies ahead.


This New Year, let us heed Rumi’s call. In between the clanging of drums and the clinking of glasses, let's make space to listen to the voice that doesn’t use words. Let's attend to the whispers of our souls, the silent language of love around us, and the mute testimony of life’s continuity.


In this rich silence, may we all find peace and understanding that sets the tone for a harmonious and prosperous New Year.



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