Happy Chinese New Year, or as the Chinese would say, “Gung Hay Fat Choy”! Starting on Friday, January 27, celebrations to ring in the Year of the Rooster will commence. For those wanting to understand the importance of Chinese New Year, I would make this analogy: Chinese New Year is like American Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Years all wrapped in one. It is the time to make amends with those you have wronged, the time to pay respect to your elders and ancestors, and most importantly, spending time with your family.
In China, Chinese New Year also marks the largest human migration where not millions, but billions of people journey back to their hometowns for the two weeks long celebration. In other words, it’s worse than the traffic jams from the suburbs to Chicago. My cousin once told me how it took him four days travel from Shanghai to Hong Kong because of all the delays and layovers he had to make. But that’s the dedication you make for family during Chinese New Year. However, the Chinese New Year experiences here in the States seem lackluster compared to those in China.
My ABC friends and I have often talked about the celebrations here versus back in China and we all agreed that celebrating here seems to take more effort. While the Chicago Chinatown does put on annual parade on the first day of Chinese New Year, how the rest of 14 days are celebrated depends on how traditional and dedicated the family is to the New Year. Whereas I lucked out with two dedicated Chinese parents and lots of aunties and uncles (what we call our parent’s friends), some of my friends didn’t have that communal celebration. No dinners filled with Chinese puns, red and gold décor, or even (gasp) red envelops! Granted, I never experienced the traditional Chinese New Year filled with fireworks and weeks-long parades and festivals, nor saw the streets littered with offerings to the dead, I’m still grateful for the efforts that my parents put into my unique experience.
 ABC: slang for American Born Chinese
 Dishes served during Chinese dinners share the same characters as the words: fortune, luck, and good health
"ABC is Me" is a blog written from the perspective of an Asian American, a "Model Minority" juggling between two unique backgrounds (Asian and American). It documents a personal struggle of wanting to fit in with the American norm, but also keeping in touch with author's ethnic roots.