February 28, 2016
記者王宇平／阿拉巴馬報導, February 17, 2016
Chinese New Year rings in Year of the Monkey
Kym Klass, Montgomery Advertiser 10:38 p.m. CST February 6, 2016
Those celebrating the Chinese New Year in the River Region use the opportunity to bridge together the Chinese and local communities.
On Saturday, the Central Alabama Association of Chinese (CAAC) in Montgomery did that, as it hosted its annual celebration at Frazer United Methodist Church to welcome the Chinese New Year with a festival of celebration to commence the Year of the Monkey.
“We have held this kind of celebration every year during the Chinese New Year time,” said Richard Wang, CAAC spokesman. “It can be educational. We like to get together both the Chinese and local community to celebrate. We like to introduce the culture to the community. It is kind of an outreach or promotional activity for the community. Every year, we have several hundred in attendance. Usually, during the celebration we’ll spend time showing the Chinese performances.”
At the celebration on Saturday, there were almost 20 performances by children, who played the piano, guitar, and who sang, recited poetry and danced.
“Most of the children here, at this age, they are born here,” said Tammy Zhang, who oversees the children’s program, and who said the celebration is to help the children appreciate and understand their heritage, culture and tradition. “We do this every year to make sure they remember our Chinese background.”
The evening included a folk fashion show and the transition to the new CAAC president. Over the years the CAAC has conducted scheduled events including the Dragon Boat Festival, a Moon Festival Celebration, educational seminars for members and Chinese students, and the Chinese New Year Celebration.
”Our organization was founded in 1982, and our association is run by volunteers,” said Harvey Hou, outgoing president of CAAC, and who added the association works to help the Chinese and other cultures understand differences. “To kind of serve as a bridge. Every year, we have a large celebration of the Chinese New Year. It’s just like Christmas in America. All the family comes together and celebrates together and we wear new clothing.”
And they wear a lot of red, a color that symbolizes wealth.
“In China, it is a lucky color,” Wang said.
As is tradition, usually eaten on the eve of the Chinese New Year, the fish represents the hope for “surplus,” while dumplings are a symbol of prosperity, and prepared to resemble silver ingots, or money, and packaged to infer luck inside the dumpling. The most abundant fruit during the Lunar New Year, oranges, also represent luck and fortune, while rice cakes are popular treats enjoyed for a more prosperous year. Families generally serve uncut noodles on the new year to represent long life.
The Chinese New Year also is a much-anticipated time for children younger than age 10, as they typically receive red envelopes with “lucky money” inside as a special gift of the holiday.
“It has mainly been a showcase for Chinese families to showcase their children,” said Irene Wong of Montgomery, who moved to the region in 1991 and has attended every CAAC New Year celebration. “There has been piano and dance and recitals and all kinds of things. It’s just wonderful to see children growing up and having their talents and things recognized. You go to piano lessons for years and you give recitals to your families, but this is like giving recitals to the community. I like coming to these because the women, the community, they put on a show. They are educated, and they’re part of the culture, and they bring it here. It’s very authentic. It’s not for show.”