Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lunar New Year

We did our best to attend festivities for Lunar New Year, which was Lana's favorite holiday in Vietnam.

We attended the Pan-Asian Lunar New Year festival in Ann Arbor last weekend, and this weekend we went to an FCC (Families with Children from China) New Year party, and a party at the home of some friends, R~ and L~. R~ is from China, and L~ is from Houston, and they have two daughters, one who is the same age as Gabe and one who is a year younger than Lana. The kids played well together, but, the thing that Lana really loved was the food that R~ prepared. There were dumplings (2 kinds), shrimp, Chinese style ribs, noodles and moon cakes. Also nachos and chocolate cheesecake for good measure. Lana, seriously, ate a MOUNTAIN of shrimp and Chinese style ribs. I have never seen her eat so much in one sitting.

R~ gave us several sticky rice meatballs to take home with us, as she had forgotten to put those out with dinner. Lana ate FOUR of them for dinner last night, so, I am going to have to get that recipe. In appearance, the meatballs look like a dish that my mom and grandmother make, called, "Porcupine Balls" - which are beef meatballs with rice, so, they look like, you guessed it, Porcupines. However, the spices and flavor of the meatballs are completely different. (In fact, I think Lana would be disappointed in Porcupine meatballs at this point, since they look so much like these other meatballs that she LOVES, and yet taste so different.)

It's been six weeks now, that we have had Lana in our lives. In many ways, it feels like she's been with us longer than that. We grow more attached to eachother every day. We're doing our best to integrate her completely into our family, without losing track of where she came from, without erasing her Asian identity in our Polish-Swedish-American household. Some times I feel like this is a tall order, maybe impossible...certainly our small attempts at Tet feel nothing like her experiences in Vietnam, and Christmas and Easter are going to feel like big new celebrations she doesn't understand yet...I made sure she got a lucky money red envelope, and foods she recognizes, and a lion dance. I'm not sure what more I can (or even should) do...I ask myself, as Lana becomes part of what is now a Polish-Swedish-Vietnamese-American household, does she become a little bit Polish-Swedish-American? Do we become a little bit Vietnamese?

LM

2 Comments:

Blogger Christina said...

You guys did a lot more than we did. Sounds like Lan really enjoyed all of it too. I always thought we just added our kids's heritages to the family. (so now we're like aEnglish/Italian/Austrian/Cambodian/Vietnames family!!)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEVER HEARD OF ANYONE OTHER THEN MY MOM MAKING PORCUPINE MEATBALLS , WOW. WHEN SHE TOLD US SHE WAS MAKING THEM WE THOUGHT OH NO . BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR JOURNEY . THNAK YOU KAT

Friday, February 23, 2007 5:52:00 AM  

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