We had a much more subdued Lunar New Year celebration than we had planned. We were going to go to DC’s Chinatown parade, as well as a number of activities at the cultural center and the Smithsonian. We were going to spend the night, and my mom and Gary were going to join us and it was going to be awesome. But there was a freak blizzard.
So, instead, we stayed home. 🙁 We still had a nice time, but, well, you know. No fireworks. No drums. No lion dance.
Instead, we had some soup with noodles (from Costco) and JC made jaozi (Chinese dumplings!). They were delish!
I went to the international food store to look for some treats, and they had hóngbāo, red envelopes that people traditionally use to give money to children on special occasions. They were beautiful, and Silas recognized them immediately from Sam and the Lucky Money, which he’s read about a thousand times.
And… well, we watched Kung Fu Panda. Which was pretty darn cute, actually. Silas loved it. It wasn’t the New Year celebration we had hoped for, but it was fun anyway.
I have to say, I’m always wondering where we are on the appreciation < — > appropriation spectrum with regard to Chinese culture. On the one hand, this interest is coming from a very real place with Silas. On the other…we’re not remotely Chinese. When I saw an article on The Toast called “What Will White People Columbus Next,” I knew before I clicked that Chinese New Year would show up. It’s #1.
We’ve tried to temper his understanding of China by making sure he knows people who are actually from there, or who live there now. We watch videos of life in China and Chinese children’s TV shows when we can find them. We don’t want him to think that China is really like in a Jackie Chan movie, but we can’t deny the appeal of Jackie Chan.
And…well, okay. We’re Columbusing Chinese New Year because, let’s be clear here, it is *awesome*. I’m more okay with that than I should be.
In case you’re wondering, I’m going with Year of the Goat because this is the year we hope we finally get some goats. And in any year, I’m sure to get someone’s goat. 🙂