Leave it to me to write a post on Chinese New Year nearly a week late. At the very least, I recently learned that festivities continue for two full weeks after the fact, so I’m not completely off the mark. A classic case of American Born Chinese I seem to be.
Like most young people, I’ve never been one for tradition, especially that of the superstitious variety. I’ve given gifts in groups of four more times than I can count, and any attempt my grandmother made to teach me Chinese fell on deaf ears. Thus, it came at great surprise to everyone involved (namely, me and my cat, whom I perturbed greatly with my dusting and vacuuming) when I took the time last week to clean my place before Chinese New Year. It came at even greater surprise when I vehemently reminded Joe to get his cleaning on before the big day.
Me, Monday: Don’t forget to clean before Thursday!
Me, Tuesday: Have you cleaned yet?
Me, Wednesday: Don’t forget to wear a red shirt tomorrow. Hey, your room still doesn’t look clean…
Joe: Bite me.*
Any excuse to celebrate is a good one, though. My family and I enjoyed a Chinese New Year dinner in complete silence, because apparently you’re not allowed to speak of anything but pleasantries during said meal. Disregarding that I probably get half of my traditions mixed up (and never mind the fact that I forgot to wear my own red shirt), I’ll probably continue my family’s tradition of week-late celebration dinners and plates of tangerines in groups of four. If my interest in cleaning is any indication, Chinese traditions are not yet lost on me; either that or I’ve found a new hobby (nagging or cleaning, you decide).
*paraphrased — it was something along the lines of “I can’t believe you’re being this Asian” and “Yes, Mom”