Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pizza with Chopsticks

On Sunday, I had the honor and pleasure of attending the Chinese Association of Tallahassee’s Chinese New Year celebration in the ballroom at FSU. It is a large party for families. Over 300 tickets had been sold. I went as the guest of one my students and her family. I have heard of this gathering for years and now I have finally experienced it firsthand.


Each child received the traditional red envelope. Inside was a U.S. dollar.


There was a long buffet serving line of all kinds of delicious food. The big surprise to me was that at the end of the table, were boxes of pizza! Apparently, many of the children preferred this over the Chinese dishes. I was particularly impressed with the people who ate the pizza with their chopsticks!

100_3445The large viewing screen showed a recording of last Tuesday’s televised program from Beijing of the traditional New Year’s Eve show. Apparently, the guy in red has been the host since the show began in the 1980’s. He is China’s own Dick Clark. He is a comedian and is seen below doing his routine with his side-kicks.

100_3454The man beside me (the father of my student) kindly translated the routine for me.

What is a Chinese New Year without dancing dragons and lions? They had those, too.





There were several musical performances, both instrumental and vocal.

100_3469It was quite an interesting experience.

Perhaps nicest of all, was being able to connect and re-connect with several families whose children I have taught through the years. Four of my current or former students were there with their families. One of these former students is now in high school. Three other children that attend our school were also there.

Even though I was the only person at our table that does not speak Chinese, I never felt uncomfortable. Indeed, I felt that the adults around me made a great effort to see that I was not alone and that someone was there to talk to me in English. It was an afternoon I am not likely to forget.

Happy Chinese New Year!

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