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Discussion 5 - Essay Example

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While most of the world find the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations to be highly colorful, joyful, and enjoyable, the tourists who actually experience the festival find the dinner reunion of the families to be kind of strange. That is because as Chinese, there are two sets of…
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Chinese New Year Dinner While most of the world find the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations to be highly colorful, joyful, and enjoyable, the tourists who actually experience the festival find the dinner reunion of the families to be kind of strange. That is because as Chinese, there are two sets of food set out on the table. One set to eat and another to just admire. That is because the latter set has a specific purpose within Chinese traditions that non-Chinese are not familiar with.
Known as Nian Ye Fan the Chinese reunion dinner tradition is held during New Years eve. Normally held at the home of the elder family members, this is the one time during the year when the whole year when the clan is expected to gather to partake of a dinner normally composed of chicken and fish. The strange part is that the chicken and fish dishes are not consumed but are instead meant as offerings. I have often had to explain to our foreign guests that the chicken and fish are meant to honor the Chinese pun that says “every year have chicken and fish left over” or “have profit every year” for businesses, and for families, it could mean “be blessed every year”.
I realize that it is a waste of perfectly good food not to partake of the dishes served specifically for the “pun” purpose. However, it is Chinese tradition and culture that dictates we must do it. It is a tradition that has the best of intentions and has never brought harm to anyone. Which is probably why my family also continues to honor the tradition to this very day and we find ourselves constantly having to explain ourselves to our foreign guests who, in the process, learn more about Chinese cultures and traditions. Read More
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