Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chinese New Year: a question...

Thanks to my Google Alerts, I was able to find an interesting article from my "hometown area", just outside of Philadelphia, PA. The Montgomery News article highlights families who have adopted children from China - and now celebrate Chinese New Year with their family. The article starts by saying:
"Everyone deserves to know their heritage. For parents of children adopted from Asian countries, Chinese New Year is the perfect opportunity to offer a window into that rich heritage."
It's a feel-good piece about how families feel about their multi-culti family, how they appreciate the "culture" of their adopted child, and how they raise their children. I'm sure that it resonates with many people, many families who have formed their families by adopting children (oh, why don't I just say it...GIRLS) from China.

My question is: who initiated the exploration of Chinese New Year? Was it the daughters? Or was it the parents? How important is it to incorporate the adopted child(ren)'s homeland culture into the adopted family?

My friend over at the My American Meltingpot blog addressed a similar question in her post and an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer on Dec. 14, discussion holiday celebrations. The take-away was the importance of becoming a full multicultural family, not just on holidays and special occasions.

I'd love to hear from some adult adoptees from China who celebrated Chinese New Year with their adoptive families when they were young. I'm curious: was it a meaningful experience? Is it the source of some fond memories? Or did it seem contrived and awkward to have white parents put on a Chinese New Year celebration?

As a Japanese-Caucasian adoptee who was raised with Norwegian traditions and NO Japanese traditions, I'm not sure how it would have felt if my family decided to celebrate OBon in August or made o-sechi-ryori for New Year's Day. I think it's pretty cool that I can make krumkake - the Norwegian pressed-then-rolled cookie - and it's one of my favorites to this day.

Would love to hear your thoughts, readers.

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