Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gung Hoy Fat Choi or Kung Hoi Fat Choy or however you want to spell it

Welcome to 2008: the year of the Rat.

I am glad I am not a rat, not that the rat doesn't have wonderful qualities (one hopes in the Chinese view of astrology anyway) but I really can't stand rats. They are horrible little rodents with a freaky tail and the ability to send chills up my spine and send me screaming. I am a sheep. It is nice being a sheep because everyone likes a sheep. They are cute, fluffy and they make lovely sweaters.

I love Chinese New Year. I don't know why really, I am not Chinese. The Engineer is Chinese though, but I am more akin to all things Asian than he will ever be. Plus I live on the border of China town here in rainy city. So in the first week of February, all the little Chinese ladies in my building are all a twitter with excitement and can't believe it when I say 'Gung hoy fat choi". The parade is my particular favorite. My parents were in town so we all bundled up, grabbed some spectacular steam buns and prepared to watch the parade.

I love how everyone is in this parade. And I mean EVERYONE. Kids, their parents, grandparents, old Chinese men beating drums, young Chinese girls fan dancing, white kids being the dragon, sullen teens playing the part of the dancing lion/dog. There were representatives from everywhere, including a band of Haida Natives in traditional clothing. Who knew that native Canadians were a part of Chinese new year. But really, how wonderfully Canadian is that? We're all out to celebrate this holiday with no care to the colour of our skin. It choked me up a bit to tell the truth. I love that I live in a place where I could be the Lion/Dog's head if I wanted to be, wether or not I am Chinese. I also saw this family with two white parents and their two adopted Chinese kids, all wearing Chinese clothing. I thought it was so incredibly sweet that cultures are so delicately woven together and celebrated, that it doesn't really matter where you come from or what ethnicity you are, we are all the same.

The Engineer was at home watching TV. Clearly the year of the rat means nothing to him. I plan on dressing our kids up in cute little Chinese clothes to which he has already opposed the idea. But how cute would they be? I really have to put some Chinese into my Chinese Engineer.

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