It is 7 am and I am still in bed.
From the gap between my bed room door, I can hear the echoing sounds of metal pots and its lids crashing into each other in the kitchen.
As I adjust my position, I breathe in the freshly lit incense fragrant which now fills the air as it has sneaked itself into my room.
The woman in the kitchen has been up before me at the crack of dawn
and has worked tirelessly preparing for the Lunar New Year.
The woman, of course, needs no introduction as she is my mom.
It is amazing how my mom works miracles on almost anything she puts her mind and hands on.
I cannot remember the last time a Lunar New Year where my mom’s presence or involvement was not included.
I know it is not Mother’s Day yet, but I am not waiting for a day or an excuse to show my appreciation to my mom whose commitment and hard work to her family are worth more than any amount of money can buy.
Now going back to the Lunar New Year and my mom’s involvement, she has been the single most powerful person who brings the traditional ritual (and its modern tweaks) to today’s celebration of the New Year.
And my sister and I (the next generation or next family in line) well… I am afraid the tradition may not meet or exceed to the level of where my mom’s current contribution has on the tradition of this ritual since we both simply watch and do not fully comprehend the tradition’s ritual.
And this insight of the ritual may even extend out to the next generation of families who were born here in America and have learned to adapt into its culture and have not fully comprehended one’s inherit beliefs or rituals.
It is not my attempt or intention to shock or scare anyone with this insight. I am simply trying to acknowledge the existing idea that through our mainstream culture which seems to umbrella everything, our diverse cultures sometimes gets diverted and we forget about the practice of our own inherit beliefs, values, or rituals.
However, it is not true that everyone replaces their adaptive so-called American culture and forget how to celebrate their inherit one, or that one refuses to completely adapt to any belief or practice at all. It would be best to keep traditions alive (adjust them when necessary, like my mom’s practice) and practice them as frequent as possible while adapting awareness to the current culture, or finding ways to understand it, and adjust them when necessary.
What do you think? How do you feel about American culture, values, beliefs when it encounters with a diversity of other cultures?
I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
Next Post Up: Thurs., Feb. 6th