Monday, October 1, 2007
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and the Olympic Torch Relay!
Please take a minute and vote for Jenny Bowan to carry the Olympic Torch in Beijing. Jenny is the founder of the Half the Sky Foundation which is dedicated to the children in China that are still in orphanages. The program has done some incredible things-increased the number of foster parents, improved orphanage conditions dramatically, provided education and medical care. In short, this organization is performing miracles. We would love to see Jenny represent the orphans of China-usually girls. They are a group that is often forgotten. Please vote for Jenny today-and pass this onto anyone you think might be interested.
Good Monday morning and welcome to October. October is a busy month-the Supreme Court begins its sessions today, harvest festivals begin popping up all over the country,kids gear up for Halloween-second only to Christmas in terms of retail sales.
Beijing is choosing their Olympic torch bearer and people all over the world put their own unique spin on the transition from summer to autumn.
We celebrated Asian Mid-Autumn festival last night-albeit a few days late-we ate moon cakes (we liked the winter melon the best), the kids made dumplings and we ate delicious, homemade and authentic Chinese food. Seated at our table were three Shanghai natives, one girl who's mom is Chinese and her father white, one woman born in Uruguay, a couple of plain old Americans of European ancestry and a girl who joined her family via adoption from China.
It was quite exciting-people speaking in Chinese and Spanish, the kids trying to communicate with the the non-English speaking group, the English-speaking rolling Chinese words around on their tongues, and the non-English speakers doing the same with English. Of course, there was plenty of Spanish thrown in to the mix.
As I was shooed out of my kitchen when the Shanghaiense women took over, I was able to sit back and watch the show. Not once did I hear the kids-or adults-become frustrated by the difficulty in communication. Not once did I hear anything about the 'unusual food'. The kids-and adults-listened in awe as they were told the story of the Mid-Autumn festival communicated in Chinese, Spanish, English, and pantomime.
Of course, there were some goofs-we forgot to treat the older women with the respect they deserved. We should have seated them at the head of the table-but everyone sat down willy-nilly. But in general, we managed the evening without international incidents.
We were lucky to truly bring authentic experiences to our children. It broadened their horizons and gave them insight into a distinctly different cultural experience.
With more of these kinds of experiences the kids (and their adults) will truly be able to understand and respect culture, choices and 'abilities'. We are five kids closer to a bully-free future!