January 26, 2012

Where do the Chinese fit in?

"When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy."
Chinese Proverb

Last Monday the Chinese celebrated their New Year. This event has never actually concerned our household in the past .... but then again, we weren't living in Paris and the kids didn't attend the International school.

All this has changed. Expat girl came back from school on Monday with a new trophy: a fortune cookie and was very surprised to find out that Mummy actually knew what it was! Her good fortune was: "Be the first, the best or be different". I couldn't have phrased it any better myself, honestly. That's my girl!!!

Before going to bed Expat girl pulls out a golden envelop and urges me to enter into the Google translator webpage. Why? She needs to translate Happy New Year into Chinese in order to hand write it on the envelop she received from a Chinese friend at school. She is eight years old!!!

Having ceremoniously tucked it under her pillow, she is expecting anything between 4 cents and 20 Euros to appear in the envelop by the next morning. That is, of course, (she adds) if they make it all the way from China. I am wondering: "Who are THEY???"

We celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, Samichlaus, Father Christmas, Gesu Bambino, Los Reyes and la Befana in our household, do we REALLY need yet another tradition? But hey, the kids are into it, even Expat boy assembled his own Chinese envelop just in case THEY do make it to France all the way from China to leave some money as good fortune.

Today I was walking through the 11th arrondisement and nearly jumped out of my whits when a bunch of fire crackers went off behind me. The local Chinese shop owners were holding their ceremony by offering a bunch of lettuce to the three dragons that were making their way down the very crowded street. I'm assuming that feeding the dragons brings good fortune for the coming year, but why lettuce, I wonder?

I guess I'll have to wait for that answer a few years until Expat girl brings home a Chinese boyfriend! ;)

In the meantime, Happy Chinese New Year to you all!

Happy Chinese New Year

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