Nihao! It’s me! Lily!
Today is the first day of Lunar New Year! Also known as Chinese New Year!
And I know some Chinese people!!
So Liz and her parents had me over today. Usually they come over to my house, but this was a special occasion. I put on my nice black dress and went over, they had set out a very nice table with some delicious Chinese food (and as Liz is always quick to point out, real Chinese food, not that stuff that Panda Express makes. It’s tasty, but not Chinese food). I was reading up on it, and apparently in China the celebrations last fifteen days and are complex and intricate, but Liz’s family kind of turned it into a hybrid of that, and Thanksgiving.
After dinner, they passed around little red packets, and I even got one!!! Apparently usually they include money of specific, lucky denominations, but mine just had a little cloth card, which felt very expensive. It had an embroidered picture of a tiger lily (awww!) and what they explained were the Chinese characters that mean family. (I learned the Japanese word is 家族 , or kazoku, and it’s the same in Chinese, but pronounced differently). It was their way of telling me I’m family!!!
I know I sniffled a little!!!
They don’t hug much but I bowed. I’m not sure if they do that in China but they do in Japan, and they seemed to appreciate the thought.
I felt bad that I didn’t have anything for them but they told me I’m not Chinese so it wasn’t expected. I still felt a little bad.
After I went back home, I got Jack on a video call and let him see me in the black dress!!! Oh, it’s a good thing he was there and I was here!!! But I won’t say why! hahaha!!! I told him happy Lunar New Year and showed him what they gave me. He honestly seemed a little shocked. He told me that family is very important to Chinese people, and that they must really like me a lot to include me like that.
I sniffled a bit more.
I hear that the Japanese people, like my birth mother and her family, and Chinese people sometimes don’t get along very well. Japanese people did some very awful things during the war, and it took a long time for the Chinese to forgive them, and still some haven’t. And what I read – it’s deserved. Maybe my grandparents in Japan remember those times. And I’m half-Japanese, it would be really easy for Chinese people to hate me. But my best friend is Chinese! My boyfriend is Chinese! And both of their families love me! Maybe sometimes the past can be the past.
I’m not sorry for what the Japanese people did because I wasn’t even born! I don’t have anything to apologize for! And I don’t regret it because I wasn’t born, too! I did nothing to regret! But… but I wish it hadn’t happened. I wish I could go back and smack some of those people and stomp my feet and tell them they’re being stupid-heads. And I’d give them my pouty face and everyone would hug and rainbows would sprout of the ground…
Yeah, but a girl can dream, right?
I got to celebrate Lunar New Year with Chinese people! And maybe they’ll celebrate Golden Week with me too!
It’s soo sad that there’s so much bad history in that part of the world, with China, and Japan, and Korea, and even Russia. So many people did so many awful things. Even the Japanese people amongst themselves. But… but I guess it all worked out. Right?
I don’t like to think about war. It’s not fun. I like to be a happy, fun girl who does happy, fun things and bubbles and burbles and spreads love and joy like creamy peanut butter!!! But I’m not liking some of the stuff I’m reading in the news lately…
Oh well. Happy thoughts, Lily. Happy thoughts.