Monday, February 22, 2010

Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year)

Yesterday there was a Chinese New Year Festival downtown, in the Asian, Pacific Historic District.




Right away we found this shiny dragon to pose with...







Chinese New Year began on the 14th and lasts 15 days. We learned that there are a lot of Chinese Cultural Museums here in San Diego.



Then we found a craft tent to keep the kids busy.



Here they are painting and drawing tiles.




In China they clean their house the day before the New Year to wipe away all the "bad luck" from last year. They also get new clothes and a haircut! We just went to the festival, though (my girls wanted to go shopping!).




We then went and watched the "Dragon Dancers"



They were incredible!



This year is "Year of the Tiger" just as it was the year that Chloe was born. I really loved these lamps. Many people were dressed in red and on the New Year they give each other red envelopes with money inside.




As the girls posed in these cutouts, a man from "The Trilingual Academy" approached me. He said that they teach Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English in their school. It's a public elementary school in the district and the children who graduate are able to communicate with 75% of the world. Part of me wanted to enroll the girls right away, and I wish they taught 3 languages at all public schools, but I can't switch them. They are adjusted to their school, and they have suffered from 2 language changes already. I'm not fluent in Spanish after a year and a half of immersion, and Mandarin Chinese is THE most difficult language for an English speaker to learn.... Excuses, excuses, oh well, the tower of Babel still leaves us divided.

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"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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