Gung Hay Fat Choy…A New Beginning

The First New Moon of the Year.

Chinese New Year.  A Time of Beginnings.

Clean Out the Old.  Welcome In the New.

As Parents to Chinese-Born Daughters, We Strive to Learn and Embrace the Traditions of China.

We are proud members of the CACA; Chinese American Citizens Alliance.

An organization created to secure Equal Rights for Americans of Chinese Ancestry.

Our Girls are Part of the Newest Chinese Americans.

A record 80,000 in the US.  With 40,000 in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.

Theirs is an Immigration Story.   A Story We Know is the Backbone of America.

 

Chinese Americans; A Short History

With all immigrant stories, the Chinese did not have an easy start.   The story begins in 1852 in California.  The Chinese were brought to the US as cheap labor to help build the railroads.  When poor economic conditions and high unemployment became prevalent, the Chinese became the country’s new scapegoats. Public opinion became openly prejudiced against Chinese, so much so that in denying a Chinese the right to testify in court against a white person, the California Supreme Court stated that the Chinese were “a race of people whom nature has marked as inferior, and who are incapable of progress or intellectual development beyond a certain point;” and to allow them to testify would “admit them to all equal rights of citizenship, and we might as soon see them at the polls, in the jury box, upon the bench, and in our legislative halls. (People v. Hall, (1854)4 Cal. 339, 405)

 Against this backdrop, a small group of young Chinese Americans, born and raised in the United States, assembled in San Francisco and decided that they would have to take matters into their own hands if they were going to combat this sentiment and accelerate the process of assimilation. They found that they not only had to fight the hostile public opinion against their Chinese ancestry, but they also had to overcome the skepticism of their own elders who felt that these young upstarts were becoming too Americanized and were forgetting the ideals of the old country. Despite this opposition, this group of Chinese Americans believed in the importance of their American birth and felt that they nevertheless had a role to play in shaping this country. They were not easily discouraged and believed that, in the final analysis, they could be judged on the basis of their own actions and achievements. The Chinese American community needed leaders with their background and their crusading spirit to actively participate in and partake of the advantages of American ideals, traditions, and institutions.
Our Daughters are Adding a New Story that Continues to Shape the History of America.
 Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy New Year in Cantonese!

I Love this Celebration!

Food.  Dancing.  And an Almost Never-Ending Raffle with Prizes!

Here’s a Peek.

First You Must Buy Raffle Tickets.  Analyzing the Raffle Numbers is Key.

The Money goes to the Education Scholarship Fund.

Lots of Prizes and We are Often Winners.  Spoiler Alert…not this year…and I was so sure we’d win(!)

The Place is Packed Elbow to Elbow.  Greetings All Around.

Each Course Served is Symbolic of Wishes for the New Year.

With Six Courses Total, Pacing is a Good Idea.

The Constantly-Filled Teapot of Hot Black Tea.

Tangerines to Begin.  Symbolize Wealth in the New Year.

Dumplings.  For Money.

Egg Rolls.  The Look and Color of Gold Bars.

 Baked Chicken Decorated with a Lotus Flower.

The Lotus Flower represents potential and an awakening.  A Lotus Flower emerges clean and untouched from the muddy pool representing purity of body, speech and mind.

Sweet and Sour Shrimp.  Seafood represents Togetherness.

Are You Counting?  Course Number 4.  Squid and Asparagus.

Perfectly Prepared and Delicious.  Although the Consistency takes some getting used to. 🙂

Orange Beef.  Oranges for Wealth and Good Fortune.

The Last Course.  And a Crowd Favorite.

Noodles with Shrimp, Chicken, Beef and Vegetables.

To Celebrate Long Life in the New Year.  Never Cut the Noodles, or You Cut Your Good Luck.

The Very Important Lucky Money Red Envelopes.  Filled with Dollars to Feed the Lion.

Red For Good Luck.  Gold for Wealth.

Ahh…the Entertainment.  Traditional Chinese Dances.  The Pom Pom Dance.

And Enter the Lion!  Loud and With Gusto.  Drums and Cymbals Playing!

The Lion Dances and Flaps his Eyelashes, Gobbling Up  All the Red Envelopes He is Fed.

You Must Feed the Lion to Assure Good Luck in the New Year.

The Dinner Closes with the Oldest Member Presenting Lucky Money to the Children.

Gung Hay Fat Choy.

Wishing You All Wonderful New Beginnings of Good Health, Inspiring Hope and Love.  🙂

5 thoughts on “Gung Hay Fat Choy…A New Beginning

  1. I was just thinking of you all yesterday. Happy New Year! I remember your post from last year …
    So nice to read the history. I remember seeing an ad for a house I owned in Ventura CA from 1929 … at the bottom of the ad it said “White Only”. I thought it referred to Negroes, and was surprised to learn it was intended for the Chinese. Thank goodness we have come such a long way. Anyway, wishing you and your family the best year ever!

    1. Happy New Year, Suzee…what a fascinating story about housing in California in the 1920s…a story we must all remember with important lessons for today and the future.

  2. Terrific post! Wonderful history lesson. We’ve tried to do the same thing with Stef and the Indian culture. Do you ever see the girls visiting their homeland? Stef went to Bangalore a few years ago. I thought maybe she would try to locate her mom and brother, but she said she had no interest in doing that. I was quite surprised.

  3. As a matter of fact, we, as a family, may be traveling to China this year…it is Miss Doodle’s wish to go to China and through Make-A-Wish her wish may be granted. Of course my wish is that she never qualified for Make-A-Wish but I have to be strong and accept that she does qualify and China is where she wants to go. We’ll see. 🙂

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