I cannot tell you how many people asked me what we did to celebrate the new year. Did you go downtown to see the parade? Did you see the lion dance? Well, my husband's aunt & uncle hosted a new year's dinner in Chinatown. We had a good time visiting with relatives, ate some great food at Lee Wing Wah, and had awesome bubble tea from Joy Yee's. Apart from that, we didn't really celebrate. Maybe when it's not so cold during the celebrations. Maybe when the kids are older . .
But, we did sort of celebrate in our own way. We greeted everyone who would listen with our latest poems in Mandarin. My daughter learned a Chinese New Year poem/greeting about the dragon flying in. My son recited the current poem that we're learning at Language Stars.* My daughter learned the same poem a couple months earlier and I guess he was really listening. One day, he just started reciting it! So, it was pretty easy for him to perfect when it was his turn to cover it in class.
|The poem my son currently recites for everyone!|
They both said their poems for relatives at the party and received hóng bāo , or red envelopes with "lucky money" in them. (It's all lucky money if you ask me, red envelope or not!). Some of the envelopes are very fancy. My youngest son got one with hamsters on it, too. You can't tell from the picture, but the envelopes have shiny, gold characters and accents.
|hóng bāo that the children received|
Reciting poems and singing songs helps remind me of how much they are learning. It also helps to reinforce their learning by rewarding them with praise and attention when they recite things for family and friends. They are so proud to be learning Chinese! I don't think they fully understand yet the connection of the language to their heritage, but someday they will. It is my dream that one day we will visit China together and that one or all of them will be able to translate for me. I have promised them a trip if they work hard on their Chinese. (They don't really understand that such a trip is years away.) Can you imagine celebrating the New Year in China? Someday . . .
Thanks for reading,
*We get 50% off our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experience. I always knew my long-windedness would come in handy!