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new year!

Yesterday we took the girls to a market on south pawnee to see lion dancers for lunar new year, which trended on twitter as chinese new year, but I personally don't know any chinese people. There are tons of Vietnamese in Wichita, especially among the engineers I work with. People with the surname "smith" are actually outnumbered by those with the surname "nguyen". So at work I heard people call it the Vietnamese New Year, you just let your most closely associated Asian country claim it?

Anyway every year St. Anthony's Lion & Dragon Dance Team makes the rounds and thanks to the internet we can now see where they'll be performing and go see them and it's wonderful. Josie loved it. Olive thought she'd love it, based on youtube videos, she was getting ready and told us "I'm going to dance with the monster and pet its face!" but once the dancing and firecrackers started she was not as excited about it.

Although once again... still not sure how Josie's mental processes work, because she is still scared of sports mascots, but these bright shiny lions with drums running up to her face are neat.

She drew this picture:

And here is Olive, not looking as thrilled as we thought she'd look:

The dancers set their costumes down after the performance for photos, and then she got to pet the faces and bragged about it and thought it was just fantastic.

Final note: Josie has been bringing her big stuffed totoro everywhere with her lately, and marc let her bring it to see the dancers, I told her to leave it in the car but Marc wouldn't back me up and I thought it was super awkward that Josie wanted to bring Totoro because it'd make us look like ignorant white people who wanted to turn anything asian into an anime-fest. Marc didn't see it, he's like what, totoro is a normal kid thing, you're overthinking. So that was awkward. And part of the reason I took Olive to another area so we'd be away from them. I should have put my foot down but then I'd be pretending to be some kind of cultural appropriation expert which I am not. Parenting disagreement. Okay, it's done.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2016 02:15 pm (UTC)
I would have agreed with you on that, not gonna lie. Things like that make me so uncomfortable.
Feb. 8th, 2016 02:41 pm (UTC)
She's not pretending to be Asian, she's demonstrating her love for a toy. How is this a bad thing? Is this another instance of political correctness gone mad? I'd be more concerned about Asian children who may work in sweatshops to make the toy in the first place. But then they're pretty invisible to us.
Feb. 8th, 2016 02:49 pm (UTC)
Unless you as a group were dressed head to toe in Anime wear, I think that her toy was probably fine. I totally see your point but if it is a toy that is much loved, I doubt it looked like anything other than that. Good that you pay attention to this sort of thing.
Feb. 8th, 2016 02:59 pm (UTC)
I would make her leave it in the car for the reason of "I do not want to look for this thing if you lose it."

And people have their own way of celebrating their own holidays. My friend whose family is from Hong Kong went home for the New Year, and her husband who is French made French apple tart.

Edited at 2016-02-08 02:59 pm (UTC)
Feb. 8th, 2016 03:21 pm (UTC)
I totally get what you were worried about.

Also, that drawing of the dragon is super cute.
Feb. 8th, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC)
That's a beautiful drawing!!

Well, China did rule over a lot of East Asia. So the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Koreans celebrate on the same day - the way they celebrate varies but same dates. D wore the Vietnamese dress hubby brought for the Chinese New Year celebration we went to at this museum where the Chinese Embassy co-hosts a family event.

I thought it be strange, but in fact she was photographed and is on the news front page because, see someone outside of our culture is appreciating it. So many of the Vietnamese in the group stopped and asked and we got to learn more about them and their culture. I think in most regards if done tastefully and especially children, it's perfectly fine. Now, I wouldn't let her wear it as a Halloween costume.

I get your hesitation but she is a little girl and it's a toy - and not a toy that is offensive in the culture or anything.
Feb. 8th, 2016 03:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think what you were worried about can really be classified as "cultural appropriation"- more like "cultural misinterpretation" where people confuse one culture for another. Like thinking a turban means someone's a Muslim. In this case I think people would be more likely to think you're dumb than be insulted by it, if their mind went there.

But, I think one stuffed animal would be pretty big stretch.
Feb. 9th, 2016 11:40 pm (UTC)
We call it Lunar New Year, a sobriquet that could be applied equally well to Rosh Hashanah, but isn't. Fun fact, NYC students now get a day off for Lunar New Year (and also for Rosh Hashanah, but that's been like that).
Feb. 13th, 2016 02:08 am (UTC)
I used to think Vietnamese New Year and Chinese New Year were different, but similar things. We had a Vietnamese young man staying with us while I was growing up, and that was my exposure to Lunar New Year. Later, I heard about "Chinese New Year" and thought it was oddly familiar. And later still, learned that it's actually Lunar New Year.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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