2016 Chinese New Year Celebration

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2016 Chinese New Year Celebration

2016 Chinese New Year Celebration

The event I chose to attend was the 2016 Chinese New Year's Celebration in Chinatown, Honolulu. This was my first time attending this event. Upon arrival, I noticed that majority of the people there were Chinese. Being that Hawaii is a very diverse state and this event was open to the public, I honestly expected more diversity amongst those attending. I immediately felt out of place not only because most attendees were Chinese, but I rarely heard anyone there speaking English. All around me people were speaking Chinese. Luckily, many of them were local Chinese and also spoke English. There were many vendors and booths selling Chinese souvenirs and food. I purchased a couple of red envelopes with Chinese symbols on them to give to my nieces, as well as a hanging red lantern to hang in my room as a symbol of good luck. The young lady who sold me these items informed me that in Chinese tradition, the color red symbolizes luck and wards away evil, therefore, Chinese love the color red. I also tried Chinese roast pork for the first time, as well as vegetable dumplings, which are a couple of popular Chinese New Year dishes. After walking around the festival for about an hour, my family and I decided to settle into a spot on the sidewalk, where families were gathered to watch the street performers and fireworks. I had the opportunity to converse with a Chinese family sitting beside my family and I. They ended up being owners of a Chinese bakery located in Chinatown, and they shared with us the Chinese tradition of lighting up fireworks and lion dancing in front of shops in order to bless business owners with good luck and fortune for the forthcoming year. By the end of the event, I felt very comfortable and really enjoyed the experience. I think it is natural to feel isolated in the beginning because you are in an unfamiliar environment, but by keeping an open mind and interacting with those around me, I was able to enjoy this learning experience. The most memorable part of the night was when the lion dancers came out and danced around the fireworks. The designs of each lion was very beautiful and detailed. There were also performers dressed in Chinese costumes with drums and flags. It was all very interesting to see. I consider myself to be culturally diverse. I am mixed with five different ethnicities and grew up in a very diverse town. Attending this event where majority of the people were of the same race was a little awkward at first. Although I did feel like an outsider, I chose not to close myself off from the people or the experience. In the end, I had a great time and met great people. I think if a culturally diverse child were to enter a classroom where every other child were of the same race, the culturally diverse child would feel isolated, but by the teacher implementing ways for students to share each other's culture with one another, I believe they will eventually gain respect and appreciation for one another regardless of their race.

There were many people in line to purchase Chinese roast pork. Although I am not a fan of pork, I decided to purchase some in order to gain as much from the experience as possible. To my surprise, Chinese roast pork was very delicious! I would definitely eat this again.

At the festival, I noticed many chinese families with red envelopes and learned that it is a Chinese tradition to give out these red envelopes (otherwise known as yasui quian) with money wrapped inside of them. These red envelopes serve as a sign of blessing and happinness to the receiver. As an attempt to fit in, I purchased red envelopes, put money inside, and gave them to my nieces.

About My Experience

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