Happy year of the dragon y’all! The moon is setting on Gene’s year (rabbit) and rising on Rachel’s (dragon). All in all this last year’s been a great one for me, so I hope this one will be just as great for my wife.
We held our 11th annual Anderkoo make-your-own-dumpling party last weekend so as not to step on any “real” Chinese New Year celebrations. Far off our record high of 1K+ dumplings, we still made and served up shy of 400 this year. As always, we made way too much stuffing for the event. It’s feeling like the week after Thanksgiving, except with pork instead of turkey.
Jacob experienced his first lion and ribbon dances on Sunday in Rockville, MD – as always, he thoroughly enjoyed (read: stared intently at) the festivities.
For anyone who’s looking for an explanation of the Chinese zodiac, I recommend checking out this book reviewed at Hapa Mama. The story as I recall it really illustrates Chinese culture’s respect for brains over brawn. (And, just to get a jump on next year’s snake, which to Western ears sounds sinister, Chinese culture has traditionally revered the snake as the ancestor of the human race.)
Happy New Year! (or, more traditionally, 恭禧发财, or “May you prosper!”)
Meet Jacob Anderkoo. He’s 1/2 Chinese (“Koo”), 1/4 German, 1/8 Irish, 1/8 Norwegian (“Ander”) — and 100% Hapa.
I first encountered the term “Hapa” from the Hapa Project. It’s not an acronym for “Half-Asian/Pacific American,” but rather the Hawaiian word for “half,” which originally applied to the white part of a mixed-race individual’s ancestry. (Thank you, Hawaii, for also giving us the term “wiki-wiki”; what would kids use to shortcut their homework if it wasn’t for you?). I like having a special term for Americans who have some Asian heritage; I hope it’s worn as a badge of pride.
Rachel and I have made a commitment to teach Jacob Chinese as well as English, but it won’t be easy. I’m the only member of the household who speaks any Chinese (Mandarin), and while I’m told my accent is excellent, my vocabulary is extremely limited, and I’m illiterate to boot. I suspect many Chinese-Americans (whether in mixed-cultural parenting partnerships or not) face this same challenge.
In any event, this is the lens through which we’ll be looking at bilingual Chinese-English education – courses, books, CDs, etc. I look forward to sharing and also learning from our fellow bilingual Chinese-English bloggers!