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University Apologizes For Giving Asian Students 'Hell Notes' Considered Death Threats For Lunar New Year

University Apologizes For Giving Asian Students 'Hell Notes' Considered Death Threats For Lunar New Year

A popular University has issued an apology for sending Asian students death threats.

The University of Toronto publicly apologized for a "mix up" that led to it inadvertently sending its Asian students cultural death threats.

The University had been intending to celebrate the Lunar New Year by distributing free red packets, or "hongbao," to its students and residents.

Hongbao are typically envelopes filled with money that are given out for celebrations such as birthdays and weddings.

Inside the packets given to the students, however, were pieces of paper called "hell money."

Hell money is fake currency meant for the dead.

The currency is comprised of incense notes that are intended to be burned to honor dead relatives or ancestors.

Giving "hell money" to living people, however, is considered extremely disrespectful and even threatening.

In some Asian cultures, giving living people these notes is considered to be putting a curse on them or sending them a death threat.

In fact, the South China Morning Post reported a Hong Kong man and Triad gang member was once arrested on suspicion of sending multiple of these hell money notes to a prison officer.

The University has since apologized for the mix-up, claiming what they had intended to distribute were the hongbao envelopes rather than envelopes filled with hell money.

The school released an apology statement on February 4 that said:

"Members of the University of Toronto Graduate House Team prepared a display to celebrate the Lunar New Year."
"Unfortunately, incorrect banknotes were unintentionally placed into the red envelopes."

The University claimed they didn't realize their error until after all of the envelopes had been taken.

The Twitter community was outraged over the incident.

Students are understandably outraged over the error, and have drafted a letter that demands the school take responsibility for their actions.

The letter, which has already been signed by 32 students, states:

"The act of giving (hell money) to living people draws disdainful sentiments and sends them the message of 'you are dead to me' or even worse, 'I wish you were dead.' It is not only insulting, but heavily unacceptable."